A Mayo teen who secured the top marks in the country with nine A1s has revealed that a love of animated movies and computer games helped him decide on one of his more unusual subjects.
David Glynn (18) from Castlebar secured the highest points in the country, netting him a staggering 925 in total. The student at St Gerald's College in Castlebar admitted he was a bit shocked when he opened his stellar results.
"Yeah I was surprised to be honest with you. Shocked a bit but I was happy too," he said. "I was happy with most of the exams but you never think you did that well so I was very happy."
Among his subjects was Japanese and the teen admitted a love of Japanese films as a child and an ongoing passion for computer games had been factors in his choice.
"Well I like video games I suppose and most of the video games are Japanese and there were Studio Ghibli movies which I watched when I was younger kind of like Japanese Disney movies.
"I'd kind of an interest in it and the course didn't look too bad. It's a nice course so I thought I'd give it a go," he explained. "It was something fun to do, well not fun but different."
The young student also made use of his Japanese aunt with whom he practised for his oral exam. David, who studied higher maths, applied maths, chemistry, physics, Irish, English, French, Japanese and music, now hopes to study maths in Trinity.
His parents, Bertha Munnelly and Peter Glynn, said David's passion for music helped him with any study stresses.
"Music is his great love. It's a passion of his, he plays piano to a fairly high standard and loves playing it," said his dad.
And while they were over the moon for their son, Peter insisted he had no idea where David had picked up his ability.
"The only thing I have in common with him in terms of Leaving Cert is that I did four similar subjects to him when I did the Leaving Cert, that's where the similarity ends," he joked.
David has twice been involved in the Young Scientist competition, coming second on one occasion, and spent two three-week stints in DCU in the centre for talented youth.
Describing David as "a very unassuming, modest lad", Peter revealed how his son's first thought was for his friends. "They are a great bunch here and the first thing he did when he got his results was check how his friends got on," said Peter.
"We're delighted for him that it did work out so well because he worked so hard. He obviously had the ability but he had the application as well. He seemed to enjoy the study," he added.
Bertha said David's love of maths left him time to concentrate on other things. "He had the ability in the maths areas which often take up a lot of time for students, but he was just lucky he had the ability in those areas," she said.
Principal at the school, Daniel Hyland, said he was delighted for David who was one of six students at the school to obtain more than 600 points. He described him as an "extraordinary, humble student".
He congratulated all the school's students on their results and praised the teachers for their "tremendous" work.
We've done it. We've made it through. We can finally live our lives without the pinching pressure of the Leaving Cert at the back of our brains. I feel like a dog with its collar taken off, scratching blissfully at the spot where it used to chafe and itch.