Stop Thief (Coisc an Gadaí)

Irish Culture, Irish Language, Public Service Films, Children on Film
Directed by:
Gerard Healy
Produced by:
National Film Institute


9 mins
Irish with English subtitles

One of a series of dramatised public information films commissioned by the Department of Health and directed here by actor/playwright Gerard Healy. A young Dublin girl becomes gravely ill with diphtheria and her parents are filled with remorse for their failure to immunise her.

The aim of this film, commissioned by the Department of Health, was to promote awareness of this infectious disease and encourage immunisation amongst children.

The drama opens in a Dublin schoolyard where a young girl feels poorly and is taken home. When her parents (Brian O Higgins and Angela Newman) take her to the doctor and discover she has contracted diphtheria they blame themselves for their failure to immunise her. She spends time in a fever hospital and, thanks to a programme of intensive care, eventually recovers and returns to home and school. Her parents have learnt a difficult lesson but now have a much improved awareness of the disease, and immunisation and treatment programmes.

This film was one of a series of informational films produced by the National Film Institute (now IFI) in both Irish and English versions. The cast of talented, bi-lingual actors would shoot their dialogue scenes in Irish and then in English (or vice versa) and two versions were then edited, titled as appropriate and released in theatrical and non-theatrical venues such as cinemas, schools and clubs.

This film is part of Children on Film. To see more from this collection, click here.

With kind permission of The Department of Health.

IFI recommendation: 8+