NERVES, anxiety, anticipation: collecting your Leaving Cert results is like the build up to a big match in more ways than one. For four students at St Fintan’s CBS in Doon, the ritual is becoming very familiar.
Limerick minor hurlers Richie English, Darragh O’Donovan, Dean Coleman and Pat Ryan ‘Simon’, who are preparing to face Galway in Sunday’s All Ireland semi-final in Croke Park, were among the hundreds of local students who picked up their results this Wednesday morning. St Fintan’s principal Eddie Bourke said that the boys “have always been great sportsmen as well as being good students”, and “have been a credit to the school”.
It was also an emotional morning for fellow pupil Brian O’Dea from Oola, who amassed a remarkable 615 points and collected his results alongside his triplet brothers Luke and Daniel.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have a clue how I would get on but I’m delighted,” beamed Brian, whose first choice is chemical engineering in UL.
Mr Bourke said that the school’s minor hurling contingent, which includes fifth years Colin Ryan and Stephen Ryan, deserve considerable praise for the effort they continue to put in.
“It is great that they are representing their parishes and their school and they did a lot of hurling with the school over the years. They won Munster Championships with the school and we saw them come on and develop through the years. It is absolutely great for the whole area, it’s great for themselves and we are very proud of them in St Fintan’s CBS. We hope they do well in Croke Park and they go one to do great things in their hurling careers,” said Mr Bourke.
At Colaiste na Trocaire in Rathkeale, over 80 students and their parents also endured a typical emotional rollercoaster, and principal Kevin Cusack said that leaving cert results day can be just as nerve-wracking for teachers.
“No matter how many times you go through it, it never gets easier. I didn’t sleep too well myself last night. I was in Newcastle West at 7am collecting the results; we had the secretaries in from 8am putting them into their envelopes. We had our career guidance teacher and the school chaplain in too. It is a very anxious moment for the students and their parents. We just try to make as relaxing an atmosphere as we can”.
Mr Cusack said that for every student, the focus will now turn to next Monday’s first round of CAO offers.
“Speaking to the parents and students, I think most of them are going to be up at 6am logging on to see if they got their first choice. What I emphasise is, while the majority of our students will get their first choice, if they don’t there’s always a back door to get their first choice”.
Mr Cusack said that while some of their students had achieved marks “in the high 500s”, teachers and staff derive just as much satisfaction from seeing other students perform to the best of their ability.
“It’s a morning of mixed emotions. Obviously there’s apprehension, and then the joy of getting your results. What I like to see are the students who find the going slightly tougher exceeding their own expectations. That’s just as important. Success is relative to each individual student”.
At Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock, principal Sean Twomey said that Wednesday was “the culmination of a lot of hard work by students but also by staff”.
“‘Our top points were achieved jointly by Sean Barrett and Marcella O’Callaghan and I’m delighted for both of them. They have been a credit to themselves, their families and the school and not just are they excellent students but they have been a pleasure to teach. I wish them the very best in the future”.
- For more on the Leaving Cert results, see the Limerick Leader print editions, in shops now