Elaine Treacy and Emily Canton O' Keefe were awarded Quercus Entrance Scholarships for UCC, having both earned 625 points in last year's Leaving Cert.
TWO Limerick city students were recognised for their ‘outstanding’ Leaving Certificate results last year and in turn, were awarded special scholarships to a top University.
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh pair Emily Calton O’ Keefe and Elaine Treacy pushed past the uncertainty of the pandemic, landing 625 points apiece.
Recalling the moment she logged onto the system to check her results, Emily told the Limerick Leader that she was “in utter shock” and “could not believe her luck.”
“I genuinely thought it was a glitch in the State Exam's system,” she thought, as a row of seven H1’s lined her computer screen.
Academically, the pair have been through thick and thin together.
Both originally from Nenagh in Tipperary, they were side by side, as they graduated preschool, Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan and Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh in tandem.
Crediting an incredible staff at the all-Irish speaking secondary school in Limerick city, Elaine exclaimed that the focus was always on “development inside and outside of the classroom.”
During her time there, she participated in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, Scifest, travelled to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and also had a leading role in the Transition Year school play.
The school’s motto is "Ag forbairt le chéile" which means, “developing together.”
“Looking back on my time and experience in GCLuimnigh, I can safely say that this statement is definitely apt and fitting for what the school stands for,” Elaine admitted.
Emily, who lives in Annacotty with her family, said that the uncertainty of whether the State Examinations would take place in 2021, was “the most difficult part.”
However, notes compiled over several years and a culture of note sharing, helped her put maximum points on the board during the June examination period.
Emily and Elaine were formally awarded their Quercus Entrance Scholarships from UCC for 2021/2022, with their families expressing “incredible joy” at their achievements.
Congratulations to former @GCLuimnigh students Elaine Ní Threasaigh and Emily Calton O’ Keeffe on accepting their Quercus Entrance Scholarship in @UCC last night. #bród @LCETBSchools pic.twitter.com/b0RfLJ8gLb— GCLuimnigh (@GCLuimnigh) January 26, 2022
Emily is now studying a degree in Arts International, and is fascinated in international relations, particularly Asian Studies and European Studies.
Following in the footsteps of her mother who studied at UCC, Elaine is now taking on the challenge of a Law and Business (BCLB) degree and is excited at the prospect of choosing between a career in the legal or commercial fields.
As a final word of advice, they are encouraging final year students in Limerick to “believe in themselves” as they head into the final push of their second level education.
“Do the best that you can but remember that even if you don’t get the results you’re looking for, there are so many ways to get where you want to,” Emily concluded.
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