Sunday 19 November 2017

Mother (50) gets ready for exams . . . and college

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

CARMEL Murphy has turned the recession to her educational advantage.

The Dubliner (50), who left school at 14, thought her return to full-time education would begin and end when she did the Junior Cert two years ago.

But the mother of three starts the Leaving Cert tomorrow -- and her journey may not be over yet.

Carmel grew up as one of a family of 12 in Crumlin and left school because of financial necessity.

"It was a case of having to get a job and, anyway, education for girls was out of the question," said Carmel, who worked in sewing factories for years.

When Carmel got a community employment-scheme job in a creche, she developed an interest in special needs.

She did some childcare courses, but ultimately learnt that if she wanted to progress, she needed to have the Junior Cert.

As Carmel notched up straight As in the Junior Cert, the recession was hitting and jobs were hard to come by.

"I thought, I am not going to sit around and do nothing, so I started the Leaving Cert," she said.

So, Carmel, who lives in Walkinstown, stayed on at Pearse College, Crumlin.

She is not sure what lies ahead. Working with children with special needs would be her first love, but she is exploring the possibility of going on to third-level eduction, through an access programme run by Trinity College Dublin.

Irish Independent

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