A new film 'How To Cheat in the Leaving Certificate' with funding from the Irish Film Board is criticised by the Junior Minister for Education.
The film tells the story of six students who mastermind a scheme to beat the system by cheating before sitting their final school exams. The idea came to director Graham Jones when he sat the Leaving Cert, a system which he believes is the wrong way to assess students. Jones claims that there are different types of intelligence but the Leaving Cert assumes there is only one. Jones hopes that the film will help the Department of Education to sit up and take notice of the problem.
Junior Education Minister Willie O'Dea has criticised the film even though he has not seen it yet. He says that scandals about cheating have racked all sectors of Irish society and this film is unhelpful.
We are trying as a country and as a government to reverse that trend and I can not see how a film of this sort is going to contribute to that effort.
Jones refutes the Minister's claims saying that he believes that the Leaving Cert system is wrong and he is trying to do something about it.
Mr O'Dea has been further angered by the Irish Film Board's decision to put £90,000 into the film's post-production.
Chairman of the Film Board Louis Marcus refutes the claims made by Mr O'Dea saying that the film is a comedy heist.
In no sense could it be regarded as a manual on how to cheat.
The film featured many well-known Irish faces including Eamon Morrissey, Chris De Burgh, Joe Duffy, Mary McEvoy, Maureen Potter, Mick Lally, and Shay Healy, as well as newcomers.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 April 1998. The reporter is Anthony Murnane.