Leaving Cert: pursuing maths or being Brian Clough?
Football fanatic says first career choice would be to get into soccer management
Fionn Bracken from Douglas in Cork got great Leaving Certificate results but admitted his first career choice would be to emulate his hero, soccer manager Brian Clough (above, during his tenure with Nottingham Forest). File photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Self-confessed football fanatic Fionn Bracken from Douglas in Cork acquired an enviable 615 points in the Leaving Certificate on Wednesday, but admitted his first career choice in life would be to emulate his hero Brian Clough and to get into soccer management.
Fionn, who got five A1s and an A2, said he was looking forward to studying maths and science at UCC, but that ideally football management was his real interest.
“I’d like to ‘be Brian Clough’ ideally, but I am happy to do maths and science. My mother didn’t believe me when I rang with my results. I wasn’t really stressed at all. My brother repeated, so I am waiting to see how he got on.”
Fionn was among students at Douglas Community School on the southside of the city who gathered in groups on Wednesday morning comparing their results and figuring out their post-Leaving Certificate destination of choice for celebrating.
Stephen Cotter obtained 490 points and is on course to study his preferred choice of law at UCC. Stephen, who got four As, a C and D, said he put his head down in order to achieve his impressive results, often studying eight hours a day.
He received congratulations from as far away as South Africa with his aunt calling to wish him all the best.
Stephen added that his passion for law was prompted by watching a popular US show.
“I’d love to be a barrister. I think its from watching ‘Suits’! I worked hard, to be honest. I needed to get 480 and I got 490. I just spoke to my aunty in South Africa and my uncle has been on from England.”
A third student, Colm Daly, said he was relieved to get 450 points as his parents had put a lot of money into Irish grinds for him.
“I got a C1 in Irish in the honours paper so I am happy about that. I plan to do Commerce.
“I was in the library after school every day and up to high five on Saturday. It was worth it to get the grinds in Irish cos I really don’t like it.”
Meanwhile, in Cork county, Ciaran O’Donovan of St Factna’s High School in Skibbereen scooped 625 points, having studied French, Biology, Physics and Business in addition to the core subjects.
Ciaran, who is a keen musician, plans to start an Arts with Music course at UCC - in spite of having 225 points more than is needed to get on the course.
“I have a big interest in music and that is what I hope to do in college. The points didn’t really come into it for me. I was confident I would get the course. But I wasn’t expecting eight A1s.”
A total of 6,232 students sat the Leaving Certificate in Cork. City TD and Sinn Féin spokesman on education, Jonathan O’Brien, said students needed to remain calm in the context of the increased points requirements for certain courses.
“We are calling on the Government to to something to address this rat race-style admissions system.
The points system must be changed and continued assessment must be a cornerstone of the Leaving Certificate, as examining a student over a period of a couple of stressful weeks is unfair and unjustifiable.”