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'The system worked - in the end, I think I got the results I'd have had anyway'


Nekane and Carla Barnes with their parents Brian and Charo at home in Malahide

Nekane and Carla Barnes with their parents Brian and Charo at home in Malahide

Nekane and Carla Barnes with their parents Brian and Charo at home in Malahide

The anxious wait for 60,000 students all over the country came to the end of another stage yesterday when the calculated grades Leaving Cert results were finally made available.

From 9am they were logging-on with their phones and laptops at home to see if their final grades matched the expectations they would have had if they had actually sat the exams.

The students at Malahide Community School we caught up with thought the system worked well.


While Leaving Cert results day is usually a big social occasion at any school, yesterday was different.

There were no mass-gatherings, instead it was a behind-closed-doors affair, and only a handful of students made the trip to see teachers.


Ruth and Ben Somers at home in Swords

Ruth and Ben Somers at home in Swords

Ruth and Ben Somers at home in Swords

The real excitement was in kitchens and living rooms.

At their home in the Gainsborough estate in Malahide twins Ruth and Ben Somers (18) both had different attitudes to the system, yet both were happy.

"I was really upset when the Leaving Cert was cancelled, but there was no option really," Ruth said.

"I had studied a lot and knew what I wanted to achieve and I wasn't sure what the teachers would predict for me. I didn't know if the grades would be based on my mocks or my Christmas exams and I felt I had no control," she added.

"There were a lot of smart people in the year too and I was afraid the grading system might mean I'd drop a grade or two.

"But I was pleased in the end when I got five H1s and 2 H2s to give me 613 points."

Ben said that when the Leaving Cert exams were cancelled he just felt the matter was out of his hands and there was no point worrying about it.

"In the end I think I got the results I would have got anyway and the grading system reflected the Leaving Cert," he added.

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Ruth is now hoping to study medicine, either in Glasgow or Galway.

Ben hopes his points will allow him study earth and ocean science or marine science in Galway, having got 521 points.

"We'll have to wait until the CAO offers come out on Friday, because the points could be very different this year," said Ben.

In Kinsealy Lane, another set of twins, Nekane and Carla Barnes (18) were also hopeful they could get their chosen courses. "I was happy with the results. I think they were pretty much bang-on in comparison to what I would have expected if we had sat the exams," Nekane said. "When I first heard that we would be assessed on predictive grades I wasn't happy.

"I didn't want predictive grades and I kept all my school books and studied just in case, but I was happy with the grades in the end and got 510 points."

"I'm hoping to study international business in DCU," she added.

Carla said she was a bit sceptical of the predictive grades, but thinks she may have done better than expected.

"I stuck with the online classes during lockdown, and did what the teachers advised, but in the end when they exams were cancelled I felt we couldn't control the outcome," she said.

"I got 489 points and hope that will be enough to let me study Arts in Maynooth."

Both Nekane and Carla said that Covid-19 had stolen important school moments from them when the lockdown came.

"We missed our last day in school, and saying goodbye to our classmates, and the rituals of the Leaving Cert, and meeting the teachers today," Carla said.


Two students who did make it to Malahide Community School were pals Shane O'Neill and Adam Bowles.

"I'm hoping to do primary teaching but don't know if I got enough points for it, but I think I have enough for Arts which was my second choice," said Shane (19).

"Overall I'm happy with the predictive grades," he said. Adam (18) said he was also fairly happy.

"I hope to work in farming in the future so I might continue with my part-time farming job or I might have an option of a Teagasc course.

"I'm happy with my grades. I think the teachers knew us well enough to grade us," he added.