Case study: Hard work pays off for Martin
Martin Roche left school at 15 and didn't need qualifications for a job in the security industry, where he worked for years before becoming unemployed.
Now, Martin (41) of Tallaght, Co Dublin, wants an entirely different career and he is on a qualifications journey to achieve his goal.
It was his wife, Carolyn, and his daughter, Marie, who starts her Junior Cert today, who encouraged him to go back to school.
He started in Pearse College, Crumlin, two years ago and today sits exams in the first of his seven Leaving Cert subjects.
"It has been great; the teachers are angels. The night of our graduation was a phenomenal experience, having all the hard effort of the past two years recognised".
Martin hopes to enrol in Trinity College Dublin in September, thanks to an access programme targeted at students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He wants to go on to study his favourite subject, history, with a view some day to teaching it.