A devastated student who lost out on her dream course of primary school teaching feels those who applied for places with Leaving Cert points from previous years "have been truly left behind".
Abbie Biggane (19) from Charleville, Co Cork, only received an offer for her eighth CAO choice after points surged on the back of the highest Leaving Cert results in history.
She had hoped to study teaching at St Patrick's College or Marino College in Dublin.
Abbie had also put down deposits for accommodation in Dublin, so will now potentially lose out on €900.
"I don't know what I'm going to do because teaching is what I really wanted, nursing was only a back-up option," she said.
"The reason I am so disappointed is I had a very complicated Leaving Cert experience last year.
"A month before I sat my exams my family found out that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer in her brain.
"It was a very sudden shock to receive and obviously it was very hard to come to terms with this news.
"However, while my mum was receiving treatment, I continued to study for my exams not realising she had not long to live."
On the day she started maths paper 1, Abbie found out that she only had a few hours left with her mother.
"This was the most horrific thing that happened to me in my whole life," she said.
She was only given three days off before she had to return to complete the rest of her exams.
"I missed five exams which left me in a position where I had to travel to Athlone a month later to complete these five.
"Following this, I received 467 points which I was over the moon about considering everything I went through during this time.
"I genuinely did not think I'd even get 300 points," she added.
Abbie decided it would be best to take a year out and try to come to terms with everything that happened following the tragic death of her mother.
In January 2020, she re-applied with the CAO.
"I had been very confident that I would receive a course in Dublin as I had over the points needed for both St Pat's and Marino based on previous years."