Tuesday 20 February 2018

Sleepless nights of worry are over as years of study pay off for A1 high achievers

Emma Louise Ruane achieved eight A1's Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
Emma Louise Ruane achieved eight A1's Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

Ralph Riegel, David Kearns and Patrick Kelleher

Twins Jessica and Ian O'Shea were celebrating on the double as they collected their results and Jessica scored a stunning run of eight A1s.

Jessica, of Regina Mundi secondary school in Douglas, Cork, said she couldn't believe her results.

"I really didn't expect results this good," she said. "I had hoped I would do well. I thought the exams were okay last June but I was still very nervous this morning over how I would do.

"I did sleep last night but I was very nervous."

Read More: Ciara did not let blood clot stop her and she achieved 615 points

Ian also scored an impressive 545 points after sitting his Leaving Cert at Rochestown College.

Their parents, Donal and Deirdre, said they were "very proud" of the twins, who are both set to get the courses of their choice.

Another of this year's highest achievers who received eight A1 grades admitted that she had feared the worst when collecting her Leaving Cert results.

Andrew Cleary with his exceptional leaving cert results Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Andrew Cleary with his exceptional leaving cert results Photo: Douglas O'Connor

Niamh Ryan (18), of Loreto College, St Stephen's Green, said she was trembling when she tore open her envelope.

She said: "I'd worked so hard over the last two years, I was shaking when I was handed my results. I really didn't know what to expect.

"I got myself so worked up thinking about it that I had to go for a run to clear my head before I collected them."

Having prepared herself for the worst, the Castleknock native was delighted to breathe a sigh of relief when she saw her final results.

Niamh plans to study chemical engineering at Cambridge University in England and joked that she would be spending last night packing for college.

However, she added: "I refused to plan anything because I didn't know if I'd be celebrating or wallowing."

While no candidate received nine A1s this year, Andrew Cleary (18), from Gonzaga College in south Dublin, came close with his eight A1s and one A2.

He said: "It (the A2) doesn't bother me in the slightest because I never dreamt I'd do so well. I'm absolutely delighted; my parents even more so, I think.

"They were ringing everyone, they were so over the moon."

The 18-year-old, who was born in Columbia, said: "I've always done well in school and I thought I had prepared the best I could but when I sat down back in June, I didn't come away feeling great.

"But when the principal opened my results and I saw his face, it was such a relief."

Another Dublin student, from Coláiste Eoin in Booterstown, also achieved eight A1s.

Mayo saw two students achieve the same score.

Emma-Louise Ruane, from Ballindine, Co Mayo, was "sick with nerves" when she walked into her secondary school, Mount St Michael's in Claremorris.

"I was blinking for a solid 30 seconds, thinking, 'Is this really what's written on my page?" she said.

Emma-Louise said her parents, Alacoque and Tomás, were "speechless" when they heard the news.

At Ballinrobe Community School, Co Mayo, principal Willie Culkeen said they were "very proud" of the achievement of Annie Duffy. He described the eight A1 pupil as a "model student" who also excels in the field of sport, playing GAA for the Mayo ladies.

Irish Independent

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