Milena Swiniuch with her baby Lena collected her results at Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock and below, hurler Oisin O'Reilly collecting his results from Noel Kelly, principal
FRESH faced and bushy tailed, those gathered at Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock this Wednesday morning had their whole lives ahead of them - none more so than four-month-old baby Lena who was perched on her mum’s hip while she collected her Leaving Cert results.
Milena Swiniuch, 19, gave birth to the little girl in April. For the next two months it was a case of juggling caring for a newborn with preparing of the biggest exam of her life.
“It was stressful but I got on good,” smiled Milena who is originally from Poland, has been living in Ireland for the past four years and now resides in Charleville.
“I want to stay at home with the baby for now,” she smiled as the little one began whimpering for some more of her doting mum’s attention.
Also smiling in the corridor of the Kilmallock secondary school was rising hurling star Oisin O’Reilly who is part of the Limerick U21 match day panel who take on Galway in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on Saturday.
“I’m happy enough now. I’m hopefully going into LIT to do social care and after the four years do a year add-on to work with disabled children in primary school,” the Kilmallock man explained.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s big game, Oisin said that while the team are confident, they don’t underestimate the challenge that lies ahead.
“The team we have is definitely the best team in Ireland - we’ve Peter Casey, Brian Nash and Cian Lynch - all top-class players. I definitely think we have the beatings of Galway but turning up on the day and doing it is a different story altogether.”
In relation to the senior final on the first Sunday in September, Oisin had thought all year it would be a Cork and Galway final “but when Cork let me down I said I was going to go with Galway.”
“I think that even physicality-wise for Waterford, they are too strong for them. The six forwards for Galway, I couldn’t name one of them who wouldn’t get an All-Star.”
Back to the exams and two girls with big, broad smiles on their faces were Orla Daly and Eabha Barry.
“I’m delighted,” said Orla who hopes to studio physiotherapy.
“I did work experience in that area,” added the teen who was looking forward to getting on the bus to Ballybunion to celebrate.
“We went down after the Leaving Cert as well - we go down on the bus and come back up.”
Eabha Barry, 19, meanwhile was “very happy” with her results and hopes to study occupational therapy in Edinburgh.
“I was shocked with the results,” said the Kilmallock girl who added that she definitely wouldn’t like to go through the hard slog of the Leaving Cert again.
A total of 70 students completed the Leaving Cert and a further eight students completed the Leaving Cert applied programme at Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock.
“They seem to be very happy with the results - there were good results in Maths and the languages and particularly across the practical subjects like construction and engineering,” said principal Noel Kelly.
His advice to anyone who may be down in the dumps after not doing as well as they would have liked?
“First of all, view the scripts on September 1 and 2, talk to the professionals and those in the know, don’t panic, stand back and take a couple of hours and look at it again, there are always other options.”