Saturday 1 October 2016

'Best sixth-year holiday ever' – Pals jet out to Euros just hours after finishing Leaving Cert

Cathal McMahon

Published 22/06/2016 | 07:18

Cian Fallon and Cathal Tighe in Lille
Cian Fallon and Cathal Tighe in Lille

These Irish fans jetted out to Euro 2016 just hours after finishing their Leaving Cert.

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Cian Fallon (19) and Cathal Tighe (19) spent the last number of months studying for and struggling through the state exams.

However once they finished their Business paper last Wednesday, June 16 the pair had only one thought on their minds.

Cian, from Ballymun, North Dublin, said: “We finished our test in Business at 12 midday. We went straight out to the party after that.

“We went from the party to Dublin airport at about 4am and took a flight to Gatwick. After a four-hour delay there, we flew to Bordeaux. We were hanging.”

They left Ireland so soon after the exams as they didn't want to miss any of the action in France. They arrived into Bordeaux in time for the celebrations ahead of the Belgium clash and are now in Lille for Ireland's must-win fixture against Italy later today.

Speaking to Independent.ie the pair, who attended Scoil Chaitríona in Glasnevin, said the trip was an inspiration when they were doing the exams.

Both are keen GAA players with Cathal, from Finglas, playing Under 21 football with Dublin and club Ballymun Kickhams. Cian plays hurling with Setanta, also in Ballymun.

“It was something to look forward to,” Cian explained. “I actually thought it flew through. When I was doing the exams that's what I was thinking of. Counting down the days, we were.”

They are in the city with Cian's older brother Eric and a number of his friends.

Initially a large group of their schoolmates had planned to travel to the Euros on the 'sixth-year holiday' but it ended up just being Cathal and Cian.

Asked how his parents reacted when he told them about the travel plans, Cathal said: “My dad was saying fair play but my ma was eating the head off me. She said I was nuts.”

Cian added: “My ma was going mad at me saying I was concentrating more on going than doing studying.

“She was saying if I as much work into my Leaving Cert as into my plans for the Euros then I would fly through the exams.”

Cian said he did “okay” in the exams while Cathal's verdict was “grand”.

He added: “I'm not going to be a brain surgeon.”

Cian is hoping to be a primary school teacher while Cathal, who plays Under 21 football with the Dublin Inter County side wants to study economics.

The pals have been doing part-time jobs to pay for the trip and also admit getting loans from the bank of mam and dad.

Check out some of the pictures sent to Independent.ie Fanzone

Graham Doyle, Alan O'Neill and Brian Flannery from Santry get ready for Lyon
Graham Doyle, Alan O'Neill and Brian Flannery from Santry get ready for Lyon
No tickets, no worries. Elizabeth Cuddy travelled to Lille for her 60th birthday. She is pictured here holding an inflated banana in Lille with fans
Did he know something we didn't?Jack Nolan with sister Abbie and father Karl before the game
Alan Keane hasn't missed a game since Italia 90. Picture Andrea Collins
Picture: Francis Edgeworth, Tallaght
Mia Carroll Glasnevin. Picture Selina Carroll
Jamie Carroll Glasnevin. Picture Selina Carroll
Patrick Lavelle from Mayo with Niall Keogh from Kildare. Picture: Patrick Lavelle
Patrick Lavelle from Mayo Niall Keogh from Kildare and Irish legend Ronnie Whelan. Picture: Patrick Lavelle
Picture: Francis Edgeworth Tallaght
'Fruitysuits with TD Mick Wallace. Picture: Fruitysuits
Dylan James is the described by his mother Niamh Heery as the no.1 COYBIG baby
John Cawley, Mark Mahon, John McCann and Peter Cleary. Picture Peter Cleary
Picture Gareth Duffy
Keith Malseed Brian Duffy Shane duffys father Eric white Siobhan Duffy mother and Hannah Carr in Bordeaux. Picture: Keith Malseed
Keith Malseed, Donegal, and Paul Walsh, Cork, at The Connemara Bar in Bordeaux. Picture: Keith Malseed
Donegal fans in Bordeaux. Picture Keith Malseed
John McCann Peter Cleary John Cawley Mark Mahon. Picture Peter Cleary
Muriel Krijeder with Amy (12 months) and Roisín McCann with baby Aoife (5 months) - Picture Steven Krijeder
Luke Fay (9) and Sean McAllister (9) skipped school to go to Paris. However they bumped into their principal Mr Boyle from St Colmcille's Junior School at the stadium - Picture Shane Fay
Shae McDonnell. Living in DeWitt Michigan, USA
Fans with 'Walters is Coming flag' - Picture Mick Burke
Fans have arrived in La Rochelle - Picture Steven Krijeder
Buddy the pug before the Sweden game - Picture Dave Butler
Katie Hickey at the Stade de France in Paris
Rhona O'Brien Charlie Shakespeare and Hugh O'Connor at the Eiffel tower
Jake, Benjamin and Sebastian Flood watch their father Gordon Flood on television live from the Stade de France from the comfort of their home in Trim, Co Meath
Staff of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital together with patient baby Christy Joyce with his siblings Louise & Patsy Joyce
This police officer does not look happy with Nicole Lynch posing for a picture at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Dubliners Alan McAuley and Des Shiels and others with hilarious 'Irish Walters' jackets pose with a French police officer in Paris. Picture: Gerard Daly
From left to right; Andrew Greene, Ronan Greene, Philip Nolan and David O'Reilly all set for the Sweden match. Picture sent by Olivia Leonard
Ireland Cerebral Palsy Development squad win Catalonia football tournament
Patsy Joyce, Director of Nursing at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Rachel Kenna holding patient baby Christy Joyce, Louise Joyce and Jack Power aged 8. Evan Dolan aged 12 years back row
Danny (6) on Dublin Bus before the game
Eddie Power meets Gary Lineker 28 years on from that famous day in Stuttgart
Donegal Fans - Kevin Mulhern Owen Doohan and Michael Barry at the Fanzone in Paris

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