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Teary graduations, signed yearbooks, and end of year rituals: The class of 2020 will miss more than the Leaving Cert

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No beach party this year: Ellen Hegarty, from Greencastle, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

No beach party this year: Ellen Hegarty, from Greencastle, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

©Lorcan Doherty

No beach party this year: Ellen Hegarty, from Greencastle, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

It's not just the Leaving Cert that is gone for the class of 2020. The end-of-year rituals - from the school Mass to the teary graduations - have all had to go, leaving sixth-years with a sense of loss.

In ordinary times, this period marks the calm before the high-stakes exams begin, a time to celebrate the ending of school days with friends and teachers who have guided their young charges through the rough and the smooth.

Actor Matt Damon lifted the spirits among his new neighbours in Dalkey, with a video message for sixth-years in the local Loreto Abbey, but principals and teachers everywhere are trying to find ways to mark the end of an era for their pupils.


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