| 10.7°C Dublin

The day of reckoning as 117,000 start their exams


Junior Cert Student James Christian pictured at his home in Artane

Junior Cert Student James Christian pictured at his home in Artane

Junior Cert Student James Christian pictured at his home in Artane

ALMOST 117,000 students took their seats in examination centres across the country for the start of the Leaving and Junior Cert today.

Earlier this week, some 4,800 superintendents took possession of the boxes containing some three million examination papers that are required by candidates over the 13-day exam period.

This morning saw 116,845 candidates sit down in 4,876 exam centres. Among them were pupils of Loreto College on the Green in Dublin's city centre, most of whom were in high spirits when they arrived.

But for one student, day one could not have fallen at a worse time.

Leanne Keogh, from Castleknock, was celebrating her 19th birthday today – while sitting both her English and Home Economics exams.

"I'm hoping that sitting the Leaving Cert on my birthday will bring me luck," she told the Herald. "I've two big exams today and I'm looking forward to getting them behind me.

"It's not ideal to be here on my birthday but it could turn out to bring me luck," she added.


Leaving Cert student Lucy Neylin (18) arrived in good spirits – accompanied by her sister Tara (15) who is sitting the Junior Cert. According to the pair, their home has been "extra quiet" in the run-up to the exams.

"It's an advantage when your sister is also doing exams because you're both at home concentrating," Lucy joked.

"The house has definitely been extra quiet which has been a great help. I'm glad this day has finally arrived and am looking forward to getting the exams over with," explained Tara.

Meanwhile, friends Lara O'Shea Farren and Mary Kelleher both agreed that it is a "shame" the exams have fallen during such warm weather. "While we are glad to get them underway, we'd be happier if it wasn't so hot outside," Mary told the Herald. Tara added: "I think we will feel better when it's over. We've done all we can at this stage."

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn extended his best wishes to all candidates and to the hundreds of thousands of parents and family members who are providing support to students around the country.

The exams run until Thursday, June 20, for Junior Cert subjects and Friday, June 21, for Leaving Cert subjects.

The written exams in the Leaving Cert Applied Programme finish on June 13.

Leaving Cert results will be available on Wednesday, August 14, and the results of the Junior Cert in mid-September.

Minister Ruairi Quinn: page 16