herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Yale athletics star switched with pal to cheat Leaving Cert, court is told

A PROMISING young Irish athlete and his school friend have been accused of forgery after they allegedly swapped identities and sat each others Leaving Certificate Physics exams.

Conor Dooney (21) allegedly sat the exam paper for his friend Stephen Boucher, also 21, as he was the better at the subject and the result was not important to him.

It is alleged that Dooney, a talented Irish middle distance runner, had already been accepted into Yale University in Connecticut on an athletics scholarship.

Dooney, who is now in his third year at Yale, and the unemployed Boucher are facing trial on the charges after a judge refused jurisdiction.

Judge Clare Leonard said the allegation had "all sorts of implications". She adjourned the case to a date in June for the service of the book of evidence.



Forgery

Dooney, of Northumberland Avenue in Dun Laoghaire, and Boucher, with an address at Old Bray Road in Foxrock, appeared before Dun Laoghaire District Court, each charged with forgery.

The alleged incident took place during the Leaving Certificate Physics examination at the Christian Brothers College in Monkstown, where the two were students, on June 16, 2008.

The court heard the DPP had directed summary disposal of the matters in the District Court.

Outlining the allegation for jurisdiction purposes, Garda Sergeant Peadar McCann said it was alleged that Boucher and Dooney swapped identities and sat each other's higher level Physics exam papers during the Leaving Certificate in June 2008.

Sgt McCann said that Dooney had already been accepted into college in America and the exam result was not important to him, but it was important to Boucher.



Deception

The sergeant claimed that the deception did not come to light until some time afterwards, and the Department of Education subsequently asked gardai to investigate the incident.

A file was then sent to the DPP, who directed that the pair be charged with forgery.

The court heard that Dooney would be returning to the United States this week, and would not be back in Dublin until early June.

The judge adjourned both matters to a date in June to allow for the service of the book of evidence.

hnews@herald.ie

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