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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C Aoife Dooley (file photo)
aoife dooley

Irish comedian subjected to 'dozens' of rape and death threats over article she wrote on Junior Cert paper

Aoife Dooley said she has notified gardaí of the threats made to her online.

AN IRISH WOMAN has been subjected to rape and death threats following the appearance of an article she wrote on this week’s Junior Certificate English paper.

Comedian and illustrator Aoife Dooley said she has notified gardaí of the threats after receiving “dozens” of messages of abuse following Wednesday’s exam.

The article, which first appeared in The Irish Times, described inconsiderate rush-hour bus passengers and was used to give students an opportunity to explain whether they found the piece entertaining.

The original article referred to “the poxes you share the bus with”, and referenced loud talkers and people who ate Meanies crisps.

However, the piece which appeared on Wednesday’s exam paper replaced the word “poxes” with the word “idiots”. 

Following the exam, Dooley said she began receiving hundreds of messages per minute about the question, before later describing how she had become the subject of threats.

She claimed she was warned that she would have “bricks thrown through her window” and that she would be beaten so badly that she wouldn’t “be autistic anymore” (Dooley has autism).

Dooley, who said she was not notified in advance that the article would appear on the paper, also said that she had been sent unsolicited pictures of teenage boys’ genitals.

“I have reported to the guards and they can look into it,” she posted this evening.

“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t know the article would come up in the [Junior Certificate] and I didn’t know the wording would be changed.” 

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In a statement, the State Examinations Commission said its CEO Aidan Farrell criticised the abuse and threats Dooley was subjected to as “completely unacceptable by any standard”.

It added that when the commission edits articles, those involved in doing so “seek to ensure that any amendments made leave the piece as faithful as possible to its original meaning”.

The commission also said that Farrell has been in touch with Dooley, but that it did not consult with authors on the publication of their work in State exams, as doing so would risk the confidentiality of what will appear on the paper.

Dooley said she would deactivate her account as a result of the abuse, which she said had taken a toll on her mental health.

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