Monday 18 November 2019

'Maybe I'll straighten my hair so nobody recognises me' - High Court winner Rebecca Carter starts first day in UCD

Teenager who won a High Court case against the State Examinations Commission begins her dream course at UCD

Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Presidents of the UCD Students Union Barry Murphy. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Presidents of the UCD Students Union Barry Murphy. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class mates Caitlin Frawley (20) and Aoife Hynes (19) and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Students Union President Barry Murphy and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class and members of the UCD Students Union. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

A special welcome awaited Rebecca Carter on her first day at University College Dublin today after her high-profile court case.

The teenager, from Castlebridge in Co Wexford, won a High Court case against the State Examinations Commission (SEC) last week to have a marking mistake fixed on time to study veterinary medicine this academic year.

With warm smiles from the UCD Students Union team and her new fellow classmates in veterinary medicine, Rebecca said she was "really nervous" on her first day today.

"I’m really nervous now because I feel like everyone’s going to know who I am and I don’t know anybody," Rebecca told Independent.ie.

Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class and members of the UCD Students Union. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class and members of the UCD Students Union. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

"It was really overwhelming, I was at such a low and now I’m on such a high."

Ms Carter said she was thankful the court case was over, and celebrated the news with a party before she headed to Dublin to start her classes.

Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Presidents of the UCD Students Union Barry Murphy. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Presidents of the UCD Students Union Barry Murphy. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

"I’m happy that all of this can come to an end and hopefully I’ll be happier in the months to come," she said.

"We had a big party at home in Wexford. That went home until 5 in the morning. I suppose it was well deserved.

Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class mates Caitlin Frawley (20) and Aoife Hynes (19) and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with new class mates Caitlin Frawley (20) and Aoife Hynes (19) and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

"I didn’t celebrate my results at all when I actually got them, I haven’t celebrated anything bar the other night really."

Despite starting the course later than other students, three of her new classmates arrived at the Students Union centre this morning to greet Rebecca with friendly smiles.

Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Students Union President Barry Murphy and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Rebecca Carter pictured in UCD on her first day of her Vetinary Course ,with Students Union President Barry Murphy and UCD Students Union Welfare Officer Melissa Plunkett. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

She added that her boyfriend, who is also studying veterinary medicine, will be able to help her catch up on the work.

"I’m lucky I have my boyfriend, he’s a second year vet, so he’ll be able to help me along the way," she said.

Ms Carter, who brought High Court proceedings against the SEC over its decision not to recheck her results before mid-October, said she has always known that she wanted to be a vet- despite only having one animal at home.

"I’ve always loved animals, as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a vet and I’ve never wanted to be anything else," she said

"I only have one dog, it’s not like I’m surrounded by animals or on a farm or anything, but if I had it my way my house would be full of cats and dogs and other animals."

As for her plans over the coming weeks after a busy period with the court case, Rebecca said she simply wants to "settle in" to student life.

"I’m hoping to settle back in. Maybe I’ll straighten my hair so nobody recognises me anymore," she joked.

President of UCD Students Union Barry Murphy described Rebecca as a "great addition" to the student body and said they had been following her case along the way.

"You’ve lots of students who try to get into veterinary, repeating the Leaving Cert for the third time because it’s such a high points course and the only place to study veterinary in the country," Mr Murphy told Independent.ie

"We were just admiring her the whole way through.

"She was here last year and actually got involved with the Students Union so she’ll be a great addition to the student body for the next five years."

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