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Rebecca's college dream comes true after markers get Leaving points wrong


Rebecca Carter with her parents Anne Marie and Niall. Photo: Collins

Rebecca Carter with her parents Anne Marie and Niall. Photo: Collins

Rebecca Carter with her parents Anne Marie and Niall. Photo: Collins

A student whose Leaving Cert points were wrongly totted up by State Examinations Commission markers has achieved her dream of winning a place in veterinary medicine at UCD.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys told a smiling Rebecca Carter in the High Court yesterday that had her points been correctly added up she would have achieved an extremely high mark that would easily have qualified her for a place on the UCD course.

Rebecca (18), of Ardcolm Drive, Rectory Hall, Castlebridge, Co Wexford, had sued the commission, challenging its decision not to re-check her points score in time to allow her to obtain a place at UCD.

She had spent four days in the High Court listening to legal teams present evidence and argue legal points with regard to her case, and hugged family and friends in the courtroom after hearing the judge rule in her favour.

Judge Humphreys told Micheal P O'Higgins SC, who appeared with barrister Brendan Hennessy for Rebecca, that he would direct the commission to carry out the necessary corrections to her exam paper by noon tomorrow and notify UCD two hours later of the result.

The Central Applications Office, which processes applications for undergraduate courses in colleges, would inform Rebecca by 5pm tomorrow of its decision to award her a placement. Judge Humphreys said the situation faced by Rebecca had been highly unfair and described the process engaged in by the commission as manifestly unfit for purpose.

Conor Power SC, who appeared with Aoife Carroll for the commission, asked the court to consider a stay on its decision but Judge Humphreys said that would nullify his decision and allow Rebecca no benefit from her successful legal challenge.


The court heard Rebecca had repeated her Leaving Certificate exams and received 554 points, just six short of the required number for veterinary medicine at UCD. The points required then dropped to 555 in the second-round offer, which left her only a point short.

It had been discovered on review that her points had been wrongly totted up and had the error not occurred she would have surpassed the level required.