‘Not bad for auld lad’: Billy (44) who left school at 14 bound for college after collecting glowing Leaving Cert results
More than 58,000 students collected their Leaving Certificate results this morning and among them was Kilkenny man Billy Molloy (44) who fulfilled a life-long dream to complete his exams.
The former carpenter left school at 14 and said that picking up his exam results this morning was one of his greatest achievements.
After completing the Leaving Certificate over two years, Billy has accepted place in Waterford Institute of Technology where he will study psychology in the autumn.
“Last year I did English, Biology and Home Economics and this year I did Biology, History, Accounting and Business, all at higher level. This morning I got a B1, a B2, a B3 and a D1 which isn’t bad for an auld lad,” he said.
“I did the higher level biology because I had psychiatric nursing in mind, but I didn’t get that I just missed out. I’ve accepted a place to study psychology in Waterford Institute of Technology in September.
“Thirty years ago I never thought I’d be accepting a place in college. I never thought I’d be here. It’s a life time achievement
“I always said if there was anything I regretted in life it was not doing the Leaving Cert and now I have done it. It’s another feather in my cap as they say,” he said.
Following his father’s tragic death when Billy was 13, he moved to England and married his wife Monica when he was 20.
“I married my wife Monica when I was 20, and I liked carpentry but the idea of going back to education was something that I never thought about. I had a son, a wife, a dog and a mortgage,” he said.
“My son Evan (24) is proud of me to be honest. He used to come out on jobs with me when he was younger to earn a bit of pocket money and he saw the hardships of carpentry, how you’re out in the elements a lot,” said Billy.
The future Psychology student is now a member of the National Adult Literacy Agency’s (NALA) student subcommittee, and encouraged anyone thinking of returning to education to bite the bullet.
“It was funny because my wife would be telling me to get my books out in the evening and go do a bit of study. I suddenly knew how my son felt.
“But I’d encourage anyone to return to education, because above anything it’s a huge confidence builder. I don’t think people realise how it helps your confidence and self-belief, and in my case it’s immeasurable.
“Signing up for those few computer classes in Word Aid at the beginning and deciding to do that was one of the best things I could have done,” said Billy.