'SÁSTA means happy,' translated Meánscoil Gharman principal Nórah Harpur helpfully as her students trooped out from their exams on Thursday afternoon. The Irish-speaking school is not yet long enough established to have a Leaving Cert class, though nine daltaí should be ready to face the big test in 2013.
In the meantime, Nórah has 28 candidates sitting the Junior Cert this year and the atmosphere in the halls of the Brownswood campus appeared genuinely sásta as they set about tackling the State set challenge.
'Ceart go leor' was the consensus as they emerged from sitting their Irish papers, though Nick Roche declared that the afternoon test had been fairly hard. His friend and Enniscorthy neighbour Tadhg O'Connor generally agreed, but he felt the toughest thing faced so far was the old style Shakespearean language which appeared on one of the English papers.
' The mocks are always more difficult,' reckoned MacDara Roche from Wexford Town on the basis of his experience to date. The real thing had proven not quite as stiff as he had feared. He gave his head teacher credit for the inspiration to revising the theme of birds – which duly appeared in one of the exams.
'No one is too worried,' declared Alice Bowler from Caim, though her classmate Síofra Busher of Kilmuckridge felt that the decision of the English examiners to introduce the topic of the internet as it affects modern journalism had set the bar quite high.
Meanwhile, on the Prom in Enniscorthy, as he waited for his bus, St Mary's CBS student Pa Walsh of Monageer was left to conclude 'Tá mé iomadán' after grappling with the Irish. But he had a smile on his face suggesting that he may be smarter than he lets on.
Michelle Parker from Oylegate and Coláiste Bríde was confident that she had at least made a good fist of the English but felt it was unpredictable how the marking system would respond to her efforts.
And Enniscorthy Vocational College student Samantha Sludds of Glenbrien declared bravely: 'Exams are nothing to be afraid of. I find them easy.'