Students from Beneavin De La Salle College, Finglas, check their Leaving Certificate results Brian Lawless via PA Images
Results Day

‘I’m over the moon’: Dublin student gets top mark of 625 in Leaving Certificate

Some 61,000 students opened their Leaving Certificate results today.

EMOTIONS WERE RUNNING high as students across the country opened their long-awaited Leaving Certificate grades today.

More than 61,000 students sat the examinations in June.

Their results were issued online at 10am through the State Examinations Commission’s candidate self-service portal.

Some students also received their results in person at their school.

Former classmates Cathal Murphy, 18, from Drumcondra, and Jack O’Connell, also 18, from Portmarnock, both received 625 points, the top marks possible.

The pair returned to the Catholic University School (CUS) in Dublin’s Leeson Street to pick up their grades along with many of their friends.

“I got 625. I’m over the moon,” O’Connell told the PA news agency.

“I thought I’d done well when I did them, but you never really know until you open them.

I was just happy everyone else seemed to be really happy with their results as well.

He said he felt a mix of excitement and nervousness returning to school for the results, adding that the hard work was worth it and he is hoping to study management science and information systems at Trinity College Dublin.

embedded268583655 Catholic University School students Cathal Murphy (left) and Jack O’Connell (right), pictured with headmaster Clive Martin, both scored top marks in their Leaving Certificate exams Michelle Devane Michelle Devane

His classmate, Dylan Martin, 18, went to the school with his parents to collect his results.

The Donabate teenager said: “It still kind of sinking in.

“I don’t think it really hit me until 10 minutes before the results came that this is it.

“This is the culmination of all those years of school. I’m very happy with the result, thank God.”

A self-confessed “worst-case scenario person”, he said he had tempered his parents’ expectations after sitting the exams.

“It was good to keep the expectations low just in case,” he said.

“If you ask my mam she’ll probably say she was more worried than I was. I just let whatever happens happen.”

His mother, Edelle Martin, said: “We’re absolutely delighted. He had me terrified. He’d under-estimated his points by about 100. It’s great, it’s such a relief.”

His father, Joseph Martin, said the anxiety of the Leaving Certificate sticks with people years later.

“It’s a seminal moment in your life, isn’t it,” he said. “But you look back on it and think ‘It’s not the end of the world either’.”

Patrick Sneddon, another former CUS student, said he was happy because his results were “above expectations”.

“I didn’t sleep very well last night,” the 18-year-old, from Clontarf, said.

The nerves kicked in but they are all gone now so I’m happy with the day.

CUS principal Clive Martin described the school’s results as “absolutely wonderful”, with a number of the boys scoring 625 points.

“We’re delighted for the boys,” he said. “And we thank the parents, teachers and the boys for all the hard work.

“It’s a fantastic day for the boys here. It’s another change, another beginning for their educational journey.”

featureimage Beneavin De La Salle College students check their Leaving Certificate results Brian Lawless Brian Lawless

Former Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green student Genevieve Holmes accessed her results online with her parents, Barry and Tracy, at their home in Terenure, Dublin.

The 19-year-old told PA: “I was really nervous beforehand. They came out about half-an-hour early online. We don’t get them in school anymore.

My dad’s computer was broken when I was trying to get them so I had to get them on the phone. I’m really relieved now. All the knots are gone now.

Her mother said they are all “thrilled”.

“We’re very relieved and very proud of her,” she said.

“She worked very hard, and she deserves the result she gets. It’s just a wait and see with the CAO (Central Applications Office). That’s a variable we don’t know about.”

Former Beneavin De La Salle College student Kyle O’Neill, 18, from Finglas in Dublin, said the pressure had “built up” over the summer but it turned out well and that he was delighted with his results.

“I exceeded expectation. I’m happy with what I’ve done,” he said.

“I’m hoping to go into journalism. That’s where I’m headed. I’m hoping DCU or TU.”

embedded268581201 Beneavin De La Salle College student Kyle O’Neill collects his results Brian Lawless Brian Lawless

His fellow student, Aaron Donohue, also 18 and from Finglas, said he was “happy” as he had passed everything.

“I’ve done what I expected of myself,” he said.

He added that he still has to work out what he wants to do but he has applied to a number of PLC (Post-Leaving Certificate) courses.

Beneavin guidance counsellor David Murphy congratulated the students on their “fantastic results” and praised the efforts of teachers over the last two years during “difficult times”.

“The students are delighted this morning,” he said.

“There are very happy faces and there’s a lot of hope for them now with the CAO offers coming in the next week or so.

“Hopefully they will go on and do something good with their lives.”

Murphy said the high points needed for courses had been a cause of concern for students over the past year but he had always urged them to have a Plan B in case they did not get the course they wanted.

“I’d be saying to other students not to be too disappointed,” he said.

It’s not the be all and end all. There are great pathways into universities through PLC colleges. So not to be too disappointed, keep looking. If they don’t get the course, to not be too down and to look at the PLCs.

“There are great options there to go on to university.”

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