The press conference was “superb Motherajasus” – PR advice for the Department of Education on the Leaving Cert miscalculated grades saga

PR guru Terry Prone told the Department of Education that a press conference on errors in Leaving Cert grades had been “superb Motherajasus” and had helped quash any suggestion of being “jump started by [Labour leader] Alan Kelly”.

Ms Prone and her firm the Communications Clinic had been hired to help deal with the fallout from the debacle of miscalculated grades for the Leaving Cert.

The errors – affecting at least 8,000 grades – had been raised in the Dáil by Alan Kelly in dramatic fashion before they were made public by the department.

Internal correspondence from the Department of Education details how Ms Prone advised Education Minister Norma Foley on how to handle publicity around the miscalculations.

Ms Prone wrote: “The Minister might mildly point out, in response to any suggestions that she sat on it, that the level of support infrastructure for students (helpline etc) could not have been ready to go sooner than yesterday.

“But it WAS all ready yesterday, vitiating [undermining or spoiling] any suggestion of being jump-started by Alan Kelly.”

Ms Prone also cautioned about “formal verbosity” in one draft document which had the title Bloodyhell.doc and was sent with an email subject line of “Ok, here goes my attempt to become a true hate figure”.

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