Judge threatens truant girl’s parents with jail

Judge John O’Neill hears girl was not in class for 81 schooldays since last September

Judge John O’Neill at Dublin District Court told the parents of a girl missing school their daughter deserved an education and he warned them he could jail either one of them if the attendance record did not improve. File photograph: Collins

Judge John O’Neill at Dublin District Court told the parents of a girl missing school their daughter deserved an education and he warned them he could jail either one of them if the attendance record did not improve. File photograph: Collins

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 19:10

A judge has threatened to jail the parents of a teenage girl over her school attendance record, which showed she missed 50 per cent of school days in the last year.

Judge John O’Neill heard at Dublin District Court that the girl was not in class for 81 schooldays since last September. In the previous school year, the record had been worse, with the girl, who is in her early teens, being absent on 110 days.

She had also turned up to school late on several dates, the judge heard.

Her parents were in court yesterday and Judge O’Neill was told they had failed to turn up to a meeting with the school’s deputy principal to discuss the teenager’s attendance and behaviour.

The father of the girl addressed the judge, blaming the high number of days his daughter was late for school on traffic jams.

Judge O’Neill told the parents their daughter deserved an education and he warned them he could jail either one of them if the attendance record did not improve.

He adjourned the case until September.