Successful students make plans to mark success
Two best friends plan to celebrate in style after both managed to secure eight A1s in the Leaving Certificate.
Despite being among the seven top achievers in the country, Roisin Ryan and Gabrielle O'Donoghue were busy preparing for one of the other biggest events of their young lives.
The 18-year-olds, from the Loreto Convent in Fermoy, Co Cork, will attend their debs dance tomorrow night.
Roisin revealed she went straight from the school to the dressmaker once she got her results.
"I have to have my priorities straight," she said. "We can't wait for it now. We hope it will be a great night."
Meanwhile, a chilled Gabrielle was late picking up her results as she slept in after going out last night to calm her nerves.
"I didn't really get nervous until I got to the school and saw everybody else," she said. "I'm over the moon now."
The pair were among six pupils who secured eight A1s on higher level subjects. Four of them want to study medicine in Trinity or UCC, while one hopes to take dentistry and one music and English.
Another 37 students got the top mark in seven higher level papers and 92 secured six.
The only boy in the bunch, Francis Delaney, had to save his celebrations until a hurling match with his beloved Slieve Bloom GAA club tonight.
The teenager, who went to Mountrath Community School in Co Laois, also kept his head clear playing GAA football and soccer while studying for his exams.
"I put in a certain amount of work alright, especially towards the end, but you need to do something to take a break from it," said Francis, 18, from Rushin.
Former Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Neasa Fitzpatrick, could not believe she got the highest marks in her home county of Kerry.
"It was a two-year slog," admitted Neasa. "All I could do was hope for the best. I just can't believe it. I'm in complete shock."
During her transition year at the Community College in Caherciveen, Neasa scooped a top prize when she devised a mentoring programme for Junior Cert students called Learn2Learn. She plans to kick-start the scheme again after taking a break to concentrate on her exams.
Elsewhere, two Dublin all-girls schools also had a student with eight A1s.
An excited Catherine King, 18, from Castleknock, put her success down to luck.
"I never expected it. I'm just lucky, I think," she said outside the Loreto College on Stephen's Green with proud parents David and Helen.
"I knew the exams went well but you never really know how they'll go."
A stunned Niamh Nic Uileagoid, from Rathfarnham, hopes to do music and English in Trinity with her top grades.
"I'm in absolute shock, I didn't expect it at all," added the pupil from Colaiste Iosagain in Booterstown.
"I'm in total shock."