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Monday 26 February 2018

Thirteen is the lucky number for the star pupils who achieved top grades

An elite group of Leaving Cert students from around the country are overjoyed

Oisín McEnroe at home in Sandycove. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Oisín McEnroe at home in Sandycove. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Kate Collins jumps for joy at her home in Clontarf, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Jack Synnott
Elizabeth Bulger from Rathmines and Ciara O’Brien from Rathfarnam. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Ben Kelly. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Conor Galvin of Clongowes. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Laura Stack. Photo: Liam Burke
Muhammad Mahmoud
Ben Healy with his results
Hillary Gallagher

Sorcha O'Connor

Unlucky for some, but 13 envelopes turned out to hold great fortune for an exclusive group of Leaving Cert students who earned themselves eight coveted H1s.

It was "sheer joy" for Jack Synnott from Termonfeckin, Co Louth, who was among the 13 high achievers.

The St Oliver Community College, Drogheda, student told the Irish Independent he was "over the moon" when he opened up the fateful envelope.

"I didn't expect it," he said.

"I did put in a lot of work but when I came out of the exams I was a little bit worried about all of them. There was always something that I felt might bring me down.

"So I was quite nervous but when I opened the envelope it was sheer joy and relief that I didn't have to worry about it."

Jack (17) also did a ninth subject, applied maths, in which he received an H3 grade.

In Dublin, Elizabeth Bulger was shaking with delight when she opened her results.

The Loreto College, Stephen's Green, student said: "I feel so happy it's over. I couldn't sleep at all last night and was just talking online."

Ashfield College was also celebrating, as another Dublin Leaving Cert superstar, Muhammad Mahmoud, collected his results and found he too had secured eight H1s. He is hoping to study medicine at UCD, and said his mother helped him stay focused.

"My parents are delighted," he said.

"My mum motivated me and I got a lot of support from all the teachers at Ashfield College."

There was further success in Dublin for Oisín McEnroe from Sandycove. The "delighted" Blackrock College boy is hoping to study theoretical physics at Trinity.

Read More: 'Not many 18-year-olds can say they got to open their results at Rose of Tralee'

Ben Healy (18), who attended Castleknock College, was yet another Dubliner who excelled.

Principal Oliver Murphy was "ecstatic" for Ben, who won student of the year earlier in 2017.

Kate Collins was jumping for joy when she opened her results, as she too joined those who topped the class.

A pupil of Holyfaith Secondary School in Clontarf, Co Dublin, Kate (18) hadn't been expecting the high marks and said she hadn't even planned a night out with her friends.

Delighted with her eight H1s, her worries had soon melted away.

Two other Dublin students from Coláiste Eoin also achieved top marks.

Meanwhile, in Kildare, Confey College student Ben Kelly was surprised when he discovered he had achieved such high grades.

The Leixlip teenager said he had expected to do well, but not quite so well, and was "over the moon".

Ben plans to study nanoscience, physics and chemistry at Trinity.

"I've been interested in science from a fairly young age, and maths," he said. "It's a growing area with advancements in modern technology so that drew me to it."

It was a nervous car journey for Conor Galvin, from Listowel, Co Kerry, as he made his way to collect his results at Clongowes Wood College.

The nerves soon turned to delight, however, as he discovered he had received top marks in his exams, scoring eight H1s.

A student of St Gerard's School, Bray, Co Wicklow, Hilary Gallagher (18) was another of the 13 Leaving Cert students to bag top points.

A true all-rounder, acting as vice-captain of her hockey team in the Leinster Cup Final during sixth year, the Delgany girl said her results came as a surprise.

Read More: New grading system leaves anxious students guessing

"It was nice to see that I worked hard for something and it paid off," she said.

"My school were so supportive; my teachers were always so helpful."

Another all-rounder, Laura Stack, who attended Hazelwood College in Co Limerick, was "definitely not" expecting eight H1s.

She plans to do a business or maths course at Trinity, and while a bit apprehensive, she is looking forward to it.

Galway girl Kate Duggan also opened her results in Coláiste Iognáid to find herself with eight H1s.

Irish Independent

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