Thursday 15 November 2018

'It hasn't really sunk in yet, it's unbelievable' - Meet the Junior Cert students who scored top marks

Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Friends Maria Doyle (15), Ella O'Callaghan (15) and Alanna France (16) after they got their results. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Friends Maria Doyle (15), Ella O'Callaghan (15) and Alanna France (16) after they got their results. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Students Alanna France and Matthew Crowe who achieved the highest results in the college. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Leah Nolan (15) celebrates the results with her parents Nicola and Bryan Nolan. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Friends Sinatalahi Badmus (15) and Elizabeth AkinWande (15) after they got their results. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Jenny Thompson (16) gives the good news of her reults with her mother Frances Thompson. Picture; Gerry Mooney

David Raleigh and Sean O'Grady

There were jubilant scenes this morning at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, Limerick City, where six Junior Certificate students achieved a remarkable 10 As, across all higher level subjects.

Principal, Donnacha Ó’Treasaigh, said he was “thrilled” for all of the 103 Junior Cert students attending the school, who received their results, Wednesday.

Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Students Alanna France and Matthew Crowe who achieved the highest results in the college. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Students Alanna France and Matthew Crowe who achieved the highest results in the college. Picture; Gerry Mooney

“We have an excellent cohort of pupils and we are thrilled with all of them. They all worked extremely hard,” Ó’Treasaigh added.

“We are a school that uses one-to-one devices, and we believe technology has a very important role to play in how young people learn in this day and age,” he said.

Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Leah Nolan (15) celebrates the results with her parents Nicola and Bryan Nolan. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Leah Nolan (15) celebrates the results with her parents Nicola and Bryan Nolan. Picture; Gerry Mooney

There were smiles all around, especially for the six students who achieved top marks, Íde Ní  Ifearnáin, Joe Tanner, Eve McMahon, Muireann Ní Shé, Seoda Ní Chaoimh, Emily Calton O’Keeffe.

A further 24 students attending the school achieved As and Bs in all higher level subjects.

Ní Ifearnáin, from Lisnagry, was awestruck as she stared down at her 10 As.

“It feels great to see the work you put in come good. I didn’t expect to do that well in English so I'm really happy,” she said.

Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Jenny Thompson (16) gives the good news of her reults with her mother Frances Thompson. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Jenny Thompson (16) gives the good news of her reults with her mother Frances Thompson. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Tanner, also from Annacotty, who has aspirations to be an “engineer”, was cool and calm as he reflected on his results.

“It wasn’t too bad, and it worked out in the end anyway,” he quipped.

His mother, Mary Tanner, said she was “extremely proud” of him.

“He worked hard and steady since last September, so he deserved his results.

“I'm not that surprised, he's been good and steady the whole way along, and I knew he'd do well.

“You never know whats going to happen on the day, so this is a bonus.

“Whatever he got, we would have been delighted for him,” she added.

Eve McMahon, from Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, couldn’t hide her emotions.

“It hasn't really sunk in yet to be honest; It's unbelievable,” she admitted.

“My mum is picking me up; I still haven't told her.”

She didn’t expect as many high marks as she got: “Absolute not expecting all these As. I was hoping for a couple of As in the subjects that I liked, but, not this, to be honest.”

Muireann Ní Shé, from Ruane, Co Clare was also “so shocked”.

“I can’t stop smiling. I really did not expect to get an A in Art, because it's marked very hard,” she said.

“I put as lot of work into it and I’m really glad that paid off.

“I'm very happy.”

She joked: “Put the hard work in and it really will pay off in the end…That’s what my teachers have been telling me, and, now I actually really believe them.”

Her father Micháel said: “I am proud of her. She worked very hard.”

“There's no substitute for hard work and it seems to me that all the kids here today are happy,” he added.

Her mother, Marie Slattery, added: “I’m delighted for her. I didn’t mind what she got, because I knew she had given it (her) best shot.”

After securing top marks across the boards, Seoda Ní Chaoimh joked she was looking forward to a bit of a rest: “It was hard when my brother and sister were watching movies and I had to do my homework, but I can watch all those movies now.”

Emily Calton O’Keeffe, was also ecstatic with her 10 As: “I'm over the moon. I told my mum Anne and she just couldn’t believe it.”

It was also a busy morning in Donabate Community College in Dublin as 146 students lined up to get their Junior Cert results.

While many were undoubtedly nervous as they waited outside their principal’s office to receive their results, the atmosphere in the school quickly turned to one of excitement as the majority of students were thrilled with their grades.

Matthew Crowe (15) and Alannah France (16), both from Donabate, received the highest marks in the year, receiving an impressive 6 As and 2 Bs each.

“The mocks were harder. I took a break on the weekends but I would study an hour, maybe two every day after homework,” said Matthew, of the work he put in.

“I’m really happy,” said Alanna, after she was congratulated by family members who came along to the school with her.

“I did a lot of study. We’re going for breakfast and then dinner with all my friends (to celebrate),” she said.

Jenny Thompson (16) from Swords said the majority of her classmates were nervous before they sat their exams, but reckons the thought was far worse than the reality.

“I’m really happy. I put in a consistent effort. Generally, everyone was quite nervous I think. It was more the idea around it rather than the exam itself,” she said.

There was universal agreement among the students that the mock exams they sat in January were harder than the Junior Cert, meaning they were well prepared for what to expect.

“I’m delighted,” said Sinadalahi Badmus (15) from Donabate.

GM Jc Results 016.jpg
Junior Certificate results Donabate Community College. Friends Sinatalahi Badmus (15) and Elizabeth AkinWande (15) after they got their results. Picture; Gerry Mooney

“I thought I would fail a lot of the subjects, but I got really good. The mocks were definitely harder.

“The Junior Cert I was like, ‘oh, this is actually pretty easy’. The mocks were preparing you. I’m pretty proud of myself,” she said.

Proud mum Nicola Nolan from Donabate teared up when she saw her daughter Leah (15) open her results.

“So proud, so emotional. I’m delighted for her,” she said.

Many students told how they were planning to hit the dancefloor at The Wright Venue in Swords later this evening to celebrate.

Principal Anthony Creevey said the students had worked very hard over the last year.

“We’re very happy with the results overall. The trend seems to be very good. We have a lot of very happy students and very happy parents,” he told Independent.ie.

“We had 146 students this year. They all worked hard and they are a great bunch. They’re very well-behaved and I’m delighted they got their rewards here today.”

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