Long wait is over!
Leaving Cert results day in Bray
Young people all over north Wicklow were ready to open the envelopes yesterday morning which would help them plan the next phase of their lives as they leave secondary school.
The sun shone as they made their way to various schools to find out how they had done in the Leaving Cert, take out calculators to tot up the points, and get pep-talks from teachers, principals and parents as they make decisions for their future.
'Hopefully I'll get my first choice if the points don't go up,' said Emily Woods at Loreto. She wants to do either an MSc at Trinity, or engineering. 'I was really nervous this morning but now I'm relieved it's done,' she said.
'For what I did beforehand I'm really happy,' said Vera Cardoso, who wants to work as a horse-riding instructor and study equine therapy, combining her passion with her career. 'I haven't added up my points yet. I don't need high points to do what I'm doing.' She was going back to work at a stables after collecting her results.
Happy with her results, Jade Earls was looking forward to an evening in Grand Social in Dublin with friends. She had mental health nursing down on her CAO but plans to take a year out and do some travelling.
'I was just hoping to pass maths and I did so very happy with my results,' said Amy Garvey. 'Paper one was fine but paper two was more challenging.'
She hopes to study social science in UCD. With a trip to Lanzarote planned later, she was taking it easy last night and spending time with family.
Another of the Lanzarote group, Megan Temple said she wasn't nervous in the lead-up, but quite nervous yesterday morning. 'It's a relief now to just have them. I'm planning on doing early childhood education in Marino.' She was going from the results pick-up to work at the Star.
Caitlin McKenna, also going on holidays with Jade and Megan, and having a quiet night with family, hopes to do tourism and marketing in the coming academic year.
'I was hoping to do veterinary nursing, but I'm not sure if I'll get in,' said Ciara Woorwood. But Ciara has her plans well made. She has a place in BIFE which can be a pathway to her chosen career. She was heading to Dicey's in town last night for the celebrations.
'I'm really happy with my results,' said Kimberley Kinsella, who would like to be a primary school teacher.
'I didn't get the place I wanted in Maynooth, but I have a place in Sallynoggin College of Further Education, so I'll do that for a year before progressing.' Kimberley was also going to Dicey's for the night.
Hazel Lewis, accompanied by proud and relieved parents, did much better than she thought, although she very sensibly had back-ups in place. 'Hopefully now I'll be studying engineering at DIT.'
Over at St Kilian's, Luke Windsor was one of the pupils to be accepted on to an apprenticeship scheme with an engineering company in Sandyford. 'I got on grand today,' he said. 'Not as well as I expected, but I'm still happy.' Luke was planning to go to the Harbour Bar with some friends last night.
Max Cwiertniak had thrown all his eggs in one basket back in June, when Plath was the only poet he studied for English Paper Two, and his gamble paid off. 'I got a H5 so felt I should have done better so will appeal,' said Max.
He said that he has plenty of options for further study, with applications in Bray, Waterford, DIT and Tallaght. He was heading to work for the evening at Dominos Pizza, before heading to the Martello later on in the night.
Max's twin brothe Alex Cwierniak said he was really happy with his results.
'I want to study engineering, architectural technology or sports management,' he said. Socialising wasn't on the cards for Alex, who was heading to hospital for a check-up on an injured arm.
Rosalina Quinn said that waiting for the results that morning had been nerve-racking.
Rosalina will be studying applied psychology and was looking forward to a small gathering later that evening at Evan Brierton's house.
Evan did extremely well, with a H1 in maths, and H2 in applied maths. 'I want to study computer science in UCD,' he said. As well as maths, he loves science and got H2s and H3s in those subjects.
'I was shaking going in I was so nervous,' he said. 'I really wasn't sure how I'd done so I'm really happy. I think I did better than I expected.'
Principal of St Kilian's John Murphy said that this had been a very big year, with over 90 students in the year.
'They were always a very motivated year with really diverse interests,' he said. 'We had a lot of computer geeks! And a lot who were into the arts.'
He said that design and communications graphics is a growing subject at St Kilian's.
'It's a very strong subject which prepares them well for university. The results were very strong. It was the most requested subject going into 5th year this year. It's a very modern subject and it suits people well.
'Higher maths was also very strong this year,' said Mr Murphy.
'We have the leaving cert applied programme in the school and six out of 15 got a distinction grade, an average of over 85 per cent across two years, which is incredible. We've never had numbers like that.'
Most of the group got merits, with average grades over 70 per cent. 'We're really proud of them,' said Mr Murphy.
'A lot of the students will go on to college or university. We have two students who have already started with an engineering design consultancy with whom we have a relationships, and they're starting as apprentice engineering technicians.
'We also have students going into accounting apprenticeships. Maybe they won't count in the college league tables, but we think they're equally important if not more so.
The principal of Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, Oliver Stack, said that the school is delighted with this year's excellent results. 'Students have received top grades in subjects across the board,' he said.
'This is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated teaching staff. It is great to see that those students, who put so much effort into their work, took the advice of their teachers and applied it are now rewarded with excellent results.
'We now wish those students the very best as they await the CAO offers and start a very exciting time in their lives.'
The National Parents Council has a help-line available for those who need any help and advice about how to approach this newest phase in life. The team can be reached on 1800 265 165.
They will provide Leaving Cert students and their parents or guardians with professional and confidential one-to-one support, advice and guidance, all manned by experienced guidance counsellors dealing with topics such as the points system, rechecks, repeats, CAO procedures and further training options and more.