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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019
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'I sat my Junior Cert aged 71, but would be in the Dáil if given a chance earlier in life'

Pamela Noonan sat her Junior Cert at age 71, having left school when she was just 11.

1887582500 Source: Limerick Leader

A 71-YEAR-OLD WOMAN who received her Junior Cert results yesterday has encouraged other older people to “get out there” and pursue further education.

And she believes she would be a sitting TD if given the opportunity to learn more earlier in life.

Pamela Noonan from Limerick left school at the age of 11 to start working.

“In those days you had no schooling”, she told The Anton Savage Show on Today FM, “I was taught by nuns and they didn’t care whether you learned or not.”

She comes from a family of 14, so there was pressure to get out and earn money to “keep the family going”.

I’ve scrubbed floors, done housework, I went waitressing. There’s nothing I didn’t do.

Once her children had grown up and left home, Pamela returned to education more than half a century later, and was “very pleased” with the results she received yesterday.

She told Today FM that just years beforehand she was unable to read or write.

“I wouldn’t be able to fill in a form,” she explained, “I wasn’t able to write a letter when I went into school three years ago.”

Over the years Pamela watched as her own children went through school, and tried to ‘learn from them learning’.

Now having completed her Junior Cert Pamela intends to sit further exams in maths, communications, and computers.

She is calling on others in her situation to “get off your chair, get out there,” and follow suit.

“If you have your health, do something with your life. Don’t be letting your memory slip away.”

She believes she could have gone a lot further if given the chance earlier in life:

I’d be in there in the Dáil, and I’d be doing a lot better than they’re doing now.

Main image courtesy of Limerick Leader.

Read: Teenager who slept rough in Phoenix Park gets 7 honours in Junior Cert >

‘A fantastic reward’: Here are the six students who got 12 As in their Junior Cert today >

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Nicky Ryan

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