Seventh heaven for Dublin student with string of H1 grades

Aoibh Collins says she had not believed she could have done so well after various doubts about papers

A student who secured seven H1 grades in this year’s Leaving Certificate has said she is “over the moon” and “couldn’t be happier”.

Aoibh Collins (19) from Drumcondra, north Dublin, was among the more than 60,000 students to receive their results online on Friday morning.

“I didn’t think I had done that well,” Ms Collins said, a student at Dominican College on Griffith Ave.

“I came out of so many exams and was going ‘that was ok, I think I’m on the verge of a H1′ but I didn’t think I would do it. I’d never gotten a H1 in English before and I got one in the real thing.


“I was logging on at 9.30am just to check that my login worked, I didn’t think the results would be there. Then I literally started crying as soon as I saw.”

Ms Collins, who is planning to study international business in Scotland, said she would be celebrating her results with friends at Electric Picnic this weekend.

“Everyone I’ve talked to is really happy with their results, so it should be a great weekend,” she added.

There were celebrations too in Co Cork where two Christian Brothers College (CBC) students, Fearghal Desmond and Leonardo Mottareale, both achieved a total of eight H1s while three more students got seven H1s grades.

A total of 13 CBC students received 625 points, the maximum number achievable, while another 37 students achieved over 600 points.

Having achieved his eight H1s, student Mr Mottareale, from Passage West just outside the city, has already accepted a place at the University of Warwick where he will study Economics and German.

“I am delighted with the results and I’m looking forward to celebrating with my parents and friends,” he said. Meanwhile, Fearghal Desmond, who is currently in Oxford taking part in a debating competition, intends to study Mathematical Sciences at UCC.

Elsewhere Alice Baltazar (18) of Drumcondra, north Dublin was thrilled to receive eight H1 grades in her Leaving Certificate.

“I had done well in school, but I didn’t feel my exams had gone that well, especially in chemistry and English. I was extremely surprised and happy with the results,” said Ms Baltazar, who attends Dominican College on Griffith Ave, Drumcondra.

She hopes to attend Trinity University for maths and Spanish. “I really like language and maths would be a practical aspect to have in addition to the language.”

At about 10 am this morning, students throughout Ireland received their Leaving Certificate results. Like Ms Baltazar, many were thrilled with their high grades.

Vimanyu Taneja (17) from Clonsilla, north Dublin logged on to get his results surrounded by family. While confident that he would receive six or seven H1s, he did not expect to see eight H1s.

“It was nice to see two years of hard work put into numbers. And, of course, it’s a very happy day for my family. I really couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents,” said Mr Taneja, a student at the Institute of Education in Dublin. Mr Taneja plans to study Management Science and Information System Studies (MSISS) at Trinity University. Although he credits his hard work and determination for such high scores, he said grade inflation may have played a role in one or two subjects. He’ll have to wait to see his scripts.

Mr Taneja emphasised the importance of working efficiently when preparing for the exams. “It’s important to take breaks, spend time with your family, and exercise, in addition to your studies. The Leaving Cert is a marathon; not a sprint,” he said.

At Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, Co Limerick, Luke Nicholas set a school record by receiving nine H1 grades in his Leaving Certificate.

Glenstal Abbey Headmaster Marius Carney said: “We are all delighted with Luke’s stunning achievement which justly reflects the dedication and commitment he has shown to everything he does. Congratulations to him and thanks to all of our teachers on the tremendous work they do with all our students.” Mr Nicholas has been offered a place at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, UK.

More than 60,000 students took the Leaving Certificate examination this year. While some received their results online this morning, others collected their scores at school.

Caraíosa O’Farrell (18) of Ranelagh collected her results at St. Conleth’s College in Ballsbridge this morning, but didn’t open the envelope. Instead, she hurried back to the car, where her mom was waiting, so the two could open it together.

Ms O’Farrell received seven H1s. “I was pleasantly surprised. I knew I would be happy, but I didn’t know I would be so over the moon.”

She had been worried about her score in applied mathematics and biology, so she was really pleased to receive an H1 in each.

Instead of heading to university in the fall, Ms O’Farrell plans to go abroad for a gap year and study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). But tonight, she’s looking forward to celebrating with her friends.

*This article was amended on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times