A MOTHER who was accused of harassing an Enniskillen primary principal wrote a letter to a local politician expressing her objection to American President Barack Obama visiting the school “because she was the head teacher”.
Michelle Irvine, of Erne Drive in Enniskillen, faced a charge of harassing Erne Integrated Primary School principal, Adele Kerr, between October 9, 2014 and November 11, 2014.
The court heard that Ms Kerr had refused to certify Irvine’s child for special needs so she could claim benefits.
It was also heard that several members of staff from the school have had a PIN (Police Information Notice) notice served in respect of the defendant following allegations of harassment.
While few details of the case were given in court, a prosecutor explained that the 48-year-old sent a letter to a Fermanagh MLA saying “it was not a good idea to have Barack Obama visiting a school where she was a head teacher” following the American President’s visit to Enniskillen in June 2013 during the G8.
While the charge of harassment was withdrawn by the Public Prosecution Service, Irvine was issued with a restraining order banning her from attending the school or approaching Ms Kerr.
The mother, who appeared before yesterday’s Enniskillen Magistrates Court was told the order would last 18 months.
Defence barrister Heather Phillips explained that her client had not contacted the principal since the incidents in November and that her children no longer attend the primary school.
Ms Phillips also stated that she hoped the court would view a lesser sentence.
“None of the allegations had threats or abuse while the other was a simple look on the street.
“She has never approached her and she has no reason to go to the school. There was one phone call made and that letter and that look on the street, but never any abuse. She has taken on that view and moving on.”
The restraining order was issued and will last the duration of 18 months until November next year.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was important that she adhere to that order and that if she breaches it she will be arrested and have to reappear before court.
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