Bright smiles in West Limerick as a post-Leaving Cert future beckons

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Pictured at Coláiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale this Wednesday deputy principal Joan Collins, Jessica Lane, William Reynolds, Shauna Geaney,  principal Liam Murphy, and Ellen Scanlon

Pictured at Coláiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale this Wednesday deputy principal Joan Collins, Jessica Lane, William Reynolds, Shauna Geaney, principal Liam Murphy, and Ellen Scanlon

THE advent of online Leaving Cert results has not changed the annual ritual very much.

Most students still come in to school to collect their Leaving Cert results, according to principal Liam Murphy who was ready and waiting for the queues to form at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale this Wednesday morning.

By 10.30am, there were a mere half-dozen students  in the queue with Cillian Murphy, Abbeyfeale first in line.  No, he said firmly, when asked was he nervous. He has a plan and he will be sticking to it.

But by 11am, the queue was long, the smiles were nervous and the knees were jerking up and down. 

“I do look forward to it,” Liam Murphy said. “It is an important day for the students.  It is a culmination of all their hard work, the teachers’ work and the support they get at home. The Leaving Cert for them, as it has been for all of us, is like a rite of passage.”

Having gone through the results for all 90 Leaving Cert students, Mr Murphy declared himself pleased with the results. The high numbers of failures in Maths nationally weren’t reflected in  Abbeyfeale results and they were “very happy” with their STEM results and also with business and accountancy results.

“Being a community college, we have a broad range of subjects to suit the broad range of aptitudes and abilities,” Mr Murphy said. 

But students, he added, are well grounded in their expectations and not every student is looking to get points in the high 500s. “I think students have a very realistic idea of what they want and what they can achieve,” he said.

Vice-principal Joan Collins agreed. “There is such a wide range of options and routes now,” she pointed out.

Next September, the school will be one of just 50 schools nationally to offer PE as a Leaving Cert subject and two classes will be taking up that option. “There is a lot of excitement about that,” Mr Murphy said. Apprenticeships are now also attracting more students, he added. 

But Mr Murphy and other members of staff were taking nothing for granted. The school chaplain, Nóirín McCarthy was there in case any student felt overwhelmed, distressed or disappointed. 

Many students though, were leaving without opening their big, white envelopes. “I’m going to open it with my mom,” several students informed the Limerick Leader.

Others immediately got their phones out to get down to the very serious businness of  calculating their points.  

But after the first few had gone through, the atmosphere became more relaxed and outside the school, the hugs and smiles were fast becoming the norm.

“I am delighted. I am very happy,” said William Reynolds, Abbeyfeale who had scored an exceptional 575 points. “I got what I needed,”said the young man who is heading for medicine.

“I am over the moon,” Jessica Lane, Abbeyfeale said. “I did better that I thought.” She hopes to be heading to Tralee to do nursing.

Ellen Scanlon was another student who fared better than she had expected. She now hopes to study finance in UCC.

For them, and for their schoolmates and their peers throughout the county and city, the future beckons. And they are preparing to embrace it with energy.