State Exam Commission condemns online abuse of author who featured on English exam

Update 7.50pm: The State Examinations Commission (SEC) says the abuse that an author who featured in a Junior Cert exam is receiving is "completely unacceptable".

It is after Aoife Dooley, who has autism, tweeted to say she has been getting threats of rape and death by students since yesterday.

The SEC has stated that the reason Ms Dooley was not consulted prior to the exam is that it would mean disclosing information about the paper.

The author and illustrator tweeted saying: "I didn't ask for any of this.

I didn't know the article would come up in the JC and I didn't know the wording would be changed.

Ms Dooley also said that she has reported the threats to the Gardaí and would "more than likely" have to deactivate her Twitter account.

The article was part of the Irish Times’ Sound Off series and it was part of the English paper’s reading comprehension.

Harry McCann, of student website Trendster.ie, says the commission may have to re-evaluate how it includes previously published items.

"For example, if they had put somebody like Tom Cruise in there, Tom Cruise isn't going to get a thousand messages because that's just not going to happen," said Mr McCann.

"I think they may need to re-evaluate the individuals and the quotes that they are including because it leaves people open to a lot of harrassment and threats like what Aoife has received over the last few days."

Online threats have 'massive impact' on author whose article featured in Junior Cert English

Update 2pm: The author of an article which featured in a Junior Cert exam yesterday without her knowledge has received death threats.

Aoife Dooley, who has autism, said she has received hundreds of vile messages since the English exam.

The article was part of the Irish Times’ Sound Off series and it was part of the English paper’s reading comprehension.

She has tweeted to say she has received threats including rape and bombing her house, with one user saying they would "cut off her legs", and others insulting her for having autism.

She said that she is "more than likely" going to have to deactivate her Twitter account and she has reported the children "as vile as they are", to the Gardaí.

On Twitter, she wrote: "I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t know the article would come up in the JC & I didn’t know the wording would be changed.

"Anyone under the illusion that I’m ‘looking for attention’ needs to ask themselves why the fuck would anyone want THIS sort of attention.

"This is really emotional for me (especially because Autistic) and I’m extremely overwhelmed by this whole situation and it’s really making me consider the work I do and if it’s worth it at all after this.

"It’s had a massive impact on my mental health and well-being."

The Department of Education and The State Examination Commission have said they are aware of the matter.

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