A young mother filled a trolley with groceries and then walked out of a supermarket, leaving her young son and nephew to push the trolley full of stolen goods out of the store.
Margaret Maughan (32) apologised for her behaviour, claiming she was suffering from post natal depression at the time.
A court heard that the two boys were under 10 years of age at the time of the incident.
Judge Dermot Dempsey sentenced Maughan to four months in prison but suspended it for two years.
Judge Dempsey also questioned Maughan about what sort of an example she was setting for her child and nephew by asking them to push the trolley.
The defendant, of Jugback Green in Swords, admitted before Swords District Court to stealing €130 worth of groceries at Supervalu in Skerries on April 14, 2015.
Garda Damien O'Reilly said Maughan filled a trolley with groceries and walked out of the store.
Gda O'Reilly said the trolley was pushed out of the shop by the defendant's son and nephew, both of whom were under 10 years of age at the time.
The garda said the property was recovered in a resaleable condition, and Maughan made full admissions when she was interviewed by officers.
The court heard the defendant has one previous conviction but it dates back more than a decade.
Defence lawyer said Maughan is the mother of three young children, two boys and a girl who is just one year old.
At the time of this incident, the court heard Maughan was in a very difficult position, both financially and emotionally, and she was suffering from mild post natal depression.
The lawyer said Maughan was very upset and embarrassed about her behaviour.
"Is she embarrassed to be caught or embarrassed that she asked the children to do it," Judge Dempsey asked.