Mother fined for worst case of truancy seen by education board
A Dublin woman has been fined €300 after a court heard that her daughter had played truant on 89 out of 114 days in the school year so far.
Dublin District Court was told that it was the worst case ever seen by an officer from the National Education Welfare Board, which had brought the school attendance prosecution against the 15-year-old’s mother, who pleaded guilty.
Lawyers for the education board said this case involved not just a rebellious teenager but a mother who does not care. They told Judge John O’Neill yesterday that this was the 13th time the matter had been before the court.
Lawyers for the teen’s mother acknowledged her school attendance record was abysmal but they said the woman had tried all she could to ensure her girl went to school but she was battling her own difficulties.
The court heard that the girl’s mother is a recovering heroin addict, has emphysema and has mental health problems.
In evidence, the woman claimed it was a constant fight trying to get her daughter up and out in the mornings. The mother also said she believed it was unfair that her daughter had not been prosecuted also.
“My daughter is 15 years of age, it’s not fair, she should be brought to court, if she walked in now you would think she was 20,” the mother said.
However, Judge O’Neill said the mother had not been pulling her weight or co-operating with the the education board and it was no wonder the teenager had been lackadaisical about her education.
The court was told that the board had done everything it could to help.
“We’d like to see her go to school and sit her Junior Cert,” education board officer Glen Perry said.