By David Raleigh
A judge has today warned a mother she will go to jail for seven days for each day her 15-year-old daughter fails to attend school.
The mother appeared before Judge Aingeal Ní Chonduín at Limerick District Court, where it was heard the child had missed 60% of the current school term.
The case was brought by the Child and Family Agency.
Solicitor Gavin Sharry, acting for the plaintiff, described the case as "very serious".
He described a "deterioration in school absence levels", which the mother "accepted".
John Herbert, representing the mother, told the court his client needed to "pull up her socks".
"Both mother and daughter have undertaken to comply with any order of the court," Mr Herbert said.
The mother, under oath, gave an undertaking she would ensure her daughter would not miss another day of school for the remainder of the current school term.
"She won't miss again. I'll take full responsibility', she said.
"The court can jail me, but she will be at school everyday," she added.
Judge Ní Chonduín told the mother: "I hate to see a child lose out on education or be disadvantaged."
"It really makes me cross," the judge said.
Addressing the mother, Judge Ní Chonduín said: "Remember, if (your daughter) misses one day of school for the remainder of the school term, I'll jail you for seven days."
"She needs to know I'm dead serious," judge Ní Chonduín told the woman's solicitor.
"I'm going to keep a tight rein on this," she added.
The judge warned the girl's mother: "Make sure your child is in school everyday...don't try to fool around or mess around with me."
The matter was adjourned until April 14.