Leaving Cert student who never missed a school day
Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30
For Leaving Certificate candidate Alan O'Reilly, the exams starting tomorrow are only one of the educational goals he set himself at school.
The 17-year-old from Leixlip, Co Kildare, hasn't missed a day since he started in the local Scoil San Carlo primary school, Confey, 13 years ago.
According to his mother, Tara O'Reilly, he made perfect school attendance a mission after his senior infants teacher commented that he hadn't missed a day that year.
Alan held his record throughout his remaining time in Scoil San Carlo, and then over his five years at Confey Community College, also in Leixlip.
While some children may pull the odd "sickie" with the support of an indulgent parent, in Alan's case, according to his mother, he was more likely to pretend not to be sick.
Maintaining his record also involved some personal sacrifice. For instance, as a teenager, Alan decided that he would not travel to Spain for a family wedding. Instead, he opted to stay at home with his granddad.
His proud mum said that while "we punish for non-attendance, more attention should be paid to recognising good attendance".
As well as being a diligent student, Alan has also played a big role in school life as a member of the student council, taking on the role of president of the body while he was in fifth year.
Confey College recently paid tribute to Alan with a presentation of an award from principal Mike O'Byrne at the school's graduation ceremony for the class of 2016.
Now, Alan is looking forward to getting through the exams and moving on to his next goal - studying human resources management in the National College of Ireland, starting this autumn.