Sunday 26 January 2020

Nothing unlucky about the top 13 students, with A1s across the board

Conor Gallagher, a student at St Michael's College in Dublin being lifted high by fellow students. Photo: Tom Burke
Conor Gallagher, a student at St Michael's College in Dublin being lifted high by fellow students. Photo: Tom Burke
Maeve O'Connor, Roisin Walsh, Alice Talbot, Alice Carey and Mary O'Connell were happy with their results at the Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny city. Photo: Pat Moore
Matthew Kavanagh

Claire Mc Cormack

Lawyers, doctors and mathematicians - the future looks bright for this year's highest-achieving Leaving Cert students.

Thirteen candidates, from all four provinces, scored top grades in yesterday's results.

Conor Gallagher - the son of former attorney general Paul Gallagher - received nine higher-level A1s, this year's top result.

"I felt a mixture of delight and shock," said Conor, of St Michael's College, Ailesbury Rd, Dublin. "I was optimistic but I didn't expect to reach such heights," the 18-year-old from Ballsbridge added.

Following in his brother's footsteps, Conor hopes to study business and law at University College Dublin (UCD). "Economics and maths are my favourite subjects and I think law is a great degree to have," he said.

Matthew Kavanagh (18), has set the bar very high for his eight younger siblings after achieving eight higher level A1s. "I worked as hard as I could, I studied for four hours a day," said Matthew, who boarded at the Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary. "My parents sacrificed so much to let me get a good education, it was a difficult process but these results make it all worthwhile," said Matthew, whose father owns JJ Kavanagh and Sons bus service.

The top hurler and orchestral musician from Urlingford, Kilkenny, hopes to take his talents and skills to University College Cork to study medicine.

"His dream has come true, he set the target for himself and achieved it, we couldn't be prouder," said his father, JJ.

Debating ace Christopher McMahon (17), also found eight higher level A1s when he opened his envelope at Castleknock Community College, Dublin. "I wasn't shocked, I expected to get in or around those grades," said Christopher, who was particularly happy with his result in French, which the bright pupil learnt himself. He hopes to study law and political science at Trinity College Dublin.

"The idea of being a lawyer or barrister appeals to me, I enjoy the thoughts of arguing for a living," said Chris.

Daire Brady, a triplet, was very anxious when he collected his results, with brothers Oisin and Tristan, at Blackrock College, Dublin.

"I was quite shocked but I put in the work and I expected to do quite well, but definitely not to get eight higher-level A1s, I'm thrilled," said Daire, son of former UCD President Hugh Brady. He said he was also delighted for his high-scoring friend, Conor Gallagher.

Daire has his sights set on economics and finance at UCD.

Others from this year's class of eight higher-level A1 achievers are Taya Keating, Galway; James Mc Callister, Donegal; Anrai O' Draonain, Stillorgan, Dublin; Carl Whelan, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin; Kevin Ryan, Jack Hartnett, and Tim Fannon all from Cork, and Paul Gallagher Summerhill College, Sligo.

Irish Independent

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