Monday 22 January 2018

He's Top of the class

Killian's perfect result earns him Cambridge offer

Fiona Ellis

THE only student to achieve nine A1s in the Leaving Certificate last night said he was "over the moon" as he considered taking up an offer at Cambridge University.

Killian Donovan, a former student of Gonzaga College, Dublin, achieved top marks in English, Irish, Maths, Applied Maths, French, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Latin and has already been offered a place to study Medicine in the leading British university.

"I'm over the moon, I thought I'd do well but didn't expect to get nine A1's. Being the best in the country is a huge shock" he said.

He gives credit to his "excellent compartmentalising skills" and says his time management got him through the experience.

"It's all about putting aside time for study and time for other things. It's important to divide your time well."

Killian (18), from Sandyford, Co Dublin, was head boy in his final year, is a keen mountaineer, performs in a band and even found the time to help out with the scouts, all while studying for the Leaving Cert.


"If you were to only to study without a distraction, you would drive yourself insane", said the star pupil.

Killian's transition year work-experience gave him an insight into the world of medicine and the drive to pursue it as a career.

He volunteered in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, and "loved it; I've always been interested and involved in science and medicine".

If finances allow, Killian will accept Cambridge's offer or else, he will stay in Ireland and study medicine in Trinity.

Either way, his future plans include big things. Right now, he is just intent on celebrating.

"I won't think about the future right now, I'm just going to enjoy the day," he said.

As soon as Killian received his results he called his parents, scientists Lynda and John.

"My mum was completely speechless and my dad was a little more dignified on the phone saying, 'Well done son'. My parents were a great help to me."

Gonzaga headmaster Kevin Whirdy said he was very proud of the talented pupil.

"He's one of 90 students who came in this morning and I'm delighted for all of them," he added.

"He's earned it, he's been a good student and a terrific head boy in the school -- he was elected to that by his peers and his teachers, so that tells you what kind of person he is."

Irish Independent

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