'Astounded': Mayo teen secures staggering 9A1s in Leaving Certificate - and eight others get eight A1s
Published 12/08/2015 | 10:35
A MAYO student has secured nine A1s in his Leaving Cert, netting him a staggering 925 points in total.
David Glynn from Castlebar secured the highest points in the country. The student at St Gerald's College in Castlebar collected his results this morning and was said to be "astounded" by the outcome.
David had earned the highest possible points in all subjects, focusing on science and maths subjects but also finding time for Japanese. He received the bonus points for the top grade in higher maths bringing is overall points to 925.
Principal at the school Daniel Hyland said he was delighted for the young student.
"David is a very kind and extraordinary humble student. He was absolutely astounded when he saw his results and I was thrilled for him. All of the students who saw his results were equally thrilled for him and he's obviously held in high regard among his class mates," he added.
Mr Hyland said he understood David wished to study maths in Trinity, adding "that won't be a problem for him now."
Read more: Live Blog: Leaving Cert results day 2015
David studied Higher Maths, Applied Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Irish, English, French, Japanese and Music.
Mr Hyland also praised teachers at the school for their "tremendous work with all the students".
The St Gerald's principal said he was delighted for all the students at the school who had all worked hard for their results.
Meanwhile, Aoife Corcoran, a pupil at Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, arrived at her school just after 9am this morning, accompanied by her Mum, Dad and little brother - to learn she got eight A1s.
The school principal, Ms Barrett, told the assembled media outside that "a very special lady was about to appear on the steps."
Aoife, from Rathmines in Dublin, emerged and told Independent.ie that she was relieved and shocked but happy.
"My family and I have been bracing ourselves for today," she said.
Aoife said she plans to celebrate her success with friends in Dicey's on Harcourt Street tonight.
She said that studying things she likes helped her to achieve her remarkable result.
"I did chemistry, physics, accounting, german and music," she said.
Another student who got the eight A1s is Alva Casey from Loreto Abbey Secondary School in Dalkey. Incredibly, her twin sister Niamh also managed to get almost 600 points - with 3A1s and 3 A2s.
“It’s a great surprise, I’m delighted,” said Alva.
“We went down together this morning and our principal gave me the envelope and I pretty much just ripped it open.
“I’m hoping to study science in Trinity,” she added.
The subjects Alva studied were Irish, English, Maths, French, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Music, and Principal of Loreto Abbey Secondary School, Robert Dunne told the Herald, you couldn’t meet a more laid back pair.
“I’m delighted with their successes, because they were really diligent students and worked consistently over the two years.
“It’s an incredible story but they’re just such humble kids, you’ve never met a more laidback pair, but they’re really, really good,” he said.
Lucy Prendeville (18) from Sacred Heart Secondary School, Tullamore got her eight A1s in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, English, Irish, French, Music, Biology
"I'm still shaking at this stage I can't get over it - I really am, thrilled," she told Independent.ie.
"I didn't expect that, eight A1s."
"I couldn't actually open my results, my family opened them and I ran away and they started screaming at me telling me what I got," she said.
"Between physics, chemistry and maths they were my three favourite subjects, and I put a lot of effort into them.
"But I didn't expect it in English and Irish, I put a lot of work in but I didn't expect A1s.
"I put my head down since 5th year I think that was the key.
"I didn't know what course I'd want so I said I would give myself the best opportunity and work from day one.
"My first choice is nanoscience in Trinity. That was 590 last year so it was a bit intimidating that it was so high.
"Because if it was 590 I didn't know if I would get it but I said 'I'll go for it' and if I don't get it at least I will have tried."
"I can't wait to go out tonight celebrating."
"It's down to the school now I have to say. I don't think I would be in this position if it wasn't for all my teachers."
Music-mad Ciaran O’Donovan said he was “delighted and surprised” after scooping eight A1 grades.
The St Fachtna’s High School student, in Skibereen, Co Cork, studied French, Business, Biology and Physics as well as Music outside of school, in addition to the core subjects.
But despite his massive 625 points total, he said he is looking forward to taking up a place on an Arts with Music course in University College Cork – expected to be around 400 points.
“I have a big interest in music and that is what I hope to do in college,” he told Independent.ie.
“The course is in UCC and it’s arts with music. The points didn’t really come into for me. I was confident I would get the course but I wasn’t expecting 625 - or eight A1s for that matter.”
He said he considered other course like medicine and dentistry but in his heart knew music was his real passion.
"Music is what I love and I do in my spare time so when you do have an interest like that it makes sense to make it your career,” he said.
Ciaran, who bagged 10 A grades and one B in his Junior Cert, said he found it important to get the “balance right” between study and other interests but did admit to some “last-minute cramming” in the weeks before the exam.
He said he was now lining up a well-deserved break in Killarney with friends to celebrate.
Four other students also got eight A1s.
These include Conall Ó’hAiniféin from Gaelcholaiste An Chlair/Ennis Community College, Clare and Lola Hourihane from Jesus and Mary College in Goatstown, Dublin 14.
And there were two students from Mount Mercy School in Cork who got the eight A1s. They are Meabh Allen from Ovens and Kate Henry from Ballincollig.
Meanwhile, it is understood that there are two identical twins from the Institute of Education in Dublin who got seven A1s
As tens of thousands of anxious students were handed their results, it has emerged ordinary level maths grades are in line with previous years despite fury over the tests this summer.
Students, teachers and parents vented their near universal upset at the paper in June, in one of the major talking points of the exams.
But official figures show 5.5% of students taking ordinary maths got an A grade.
That's down just slightly on the 6.8% who got top marks in the paper last year, but up marginally on the 2013 figures.
Overall, the numbers who achieved A, B or C grades in ordinary maths is up significantly on previous years, while the proportion who received a D grade is down.
Other trends from this year's Leaving Certificate results include a growing number of students taking on physics and applied maths.
Some 5,764 pupils sat the honours physics paper this year, up nearly 1,000 since 2013.
There was also an increase in those sitting ordinary level physics, with top grades at both levels, as well as an increase in the numbers studying chemistry.
In applied maths, there has been a significant rise in students taking on both ordinary and higher level exams.
Almost 58,000 pupils are to receive their Leaving Certificate results today.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) said the results obtained in most subjects are "broadly in line" with those of previous years.
Teachers have urged students not to be upset if they did not get the results they expected.
Gerry Quinn, president of the Teachers Union of Ireland, said pupils should be congratulated on their achievements at a time when the education system has been damaged by cutbacks.
"They should keep things in perspective and remember that these exams will not define their lives," he added.
"There will be other opportunities to pursue their desired course if they did not secure the results that they hoped for today."
Children's charity ISPCC urged those feeling anxious or fearful about the future to talk to family and friends and remember they have lots of options.
Margie Roe, National Childline Manager, said: "For some young people, Leaving Cert results can leave them feeling sad, worried and anxious about the weeks, months and years to come.
"It is important to remember that there are lots of options out there but it is also important to take time to deal with what can be a stressful and upsetting time for leaving cert students."
Road safety chiefs urged celebrating students to make sure they get home safely.
Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority said: "You have your whole life ahead of you so be smart, make the right choice and get home safely tonight."