*The case was heard before the Family Law Court on Monday. 

A JUDGE has told a father that she finds it very hard to listen to a man saying how he was able to spend money recently marrying another woman when he won’t provide for his own child or children.

At the Family Law Court, Judge Mary Larkin made the comment after hearing the man has racked up maintenance arrears for two children of €22,875.

The working man is in a new relationship and told Judge Larkin that he recently got married to the woman.

Judge Larkin said, “You threw a load of money at that? How much did the wedding cost?”

The man said that he required a loan of €3,000 to finance the wedding along with savings of €5,000.

In reply, Judge Larkin said, “Everyone is entitled to discretionary spending, but it is very difficult to listen to a man coming into court saying you were to spend money marrying another woman but he won’t provide for his own child or children”.

When the man told Judge Larkin that he couldn’t afford an increase in the weekly maintenance from €35 to €50 for two children in order to pay €15 off the arrears each week, Judge Larkin said, “Listen, you didn’t bother to pay anything for years”.

Judge Larkin said, “Now, you can either get your wife to pay it or someone to pay it. You haven’t paid for your children and you are arguing with me for a fiver. No -N-O.”

In court, the man narrowly avoided being sent to the cells at the courthouse over his failure to pay maintenance after he produced €1,500 for his ex-partner in court.

Asked why he hasn’t paid maintenance, the man replied, “I have no excuse judge”.

Judge Larkin told him, “if I am satisfied – and you have satisfied me – that you have received monies and you have made a choice not to pay maintenance, I could send you to jail because you are in breach of the maintenance order”.

The man handed over the €1,500 to the court registrar after Judge Larkin told him, “You are going to go down to the cells and you are going to make a phone call and come back up here with a lump sum”.

The man currently has a maintenance order of €17.50 for each of the two children subject of the maintenance order.

The man disputed in court that he is the father of one of the children and Judge Larkin told him that he had previously agreed to the maintenance order for the two.

Judge Larkin described the man having only €17.50 per child as a ‘joke’.

Judge Larkin commented, “I can’t even speak about €17.50 for each of the two children per week. A dog would eat more on that”.

Judge Larkin said that she wants additional monies the next day in court to address the arrears. Judge Larkin said that the arrears when the maintenance summons was issued made up of €16,875 and back to school expenses brought it to a total of €22,875 due and owing.

Judge Larkin warned the man that the new €50 maintenance is to be paid from now on. Adjourning the case to November Judge Larkin told the man, “If you miss a day of that, you will go to jail.”

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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