Messy, disappointing, confusing: Leaving Cert students react to delay of exam results

‘Last few months have been so stressful and the worst thing is the uncertainty, all the speculation

The Department of Education’s decision to delay Leaving Cert results until several weeks later than normal, on September 7th, took students by surprise. The Irish Times spoke to some of the more than 60,000 Leaving Cert student affected by the news.

Alicia O’Sullivan (19), Cork

"I've applied to go to the Netherlands to study Law in Society and I was conditionally accepted but that's based on me getting the results that I need and to have those in by August 31st.

"It's all well and good they're talking about the UK and students going to Northern Ireland but there are students going to different countries that have different timelines. So it doesn't really give us much assurance.

“I emailed the college last night . . . it’s a tough time. I know I’m not the only student in this position and there’s probably an influx of students emailing different colleges saying ‘my results won’t be in’. It’s very, very messy.”

Charles Gallagher (19), Donegal

“It puts more stress and anxiety on the situation. I’m planning to go to DCU and they’ve given us a start date of September 21st for first years to come for a two-week orientation and then online lectures and that from October 5th.

“But it means I’m literally only going to have a couple of days really to get organised, as the first round offers only come out on September 11th. It’s a matter of only a couple of days I’ll have to prepare myself to go to college which is a big thing.

“I’m from Donegal and preparing to go to a big city like Dublin, which I’ve never really been in before, is a big thing for me.”

Katie Halpin-Hill (18), Waterford

“For myself it’s difficult because I don’t know whether I should be getting accommodation. I don’t have any idea about what next year might look like. It’s obviously very confusing.

“I’m hoping to study Irish and English in UCC. I do have accommodation lined up but I haven’t put a deposit down because I don’t know what’s happening, if I’ll even need to be based in Cork.

“The last few months have been so stressful and the worst thing is just the uncertainty, all the speculation. Hopefully we’ll get as much clarification as possible soon.”

Luke Casserly (19), Longford

“I’m really disappointed and frustrated, especially how the news came. The communication could have been so much better.

“I was really looking forward to getting those results next month and knowing what’s going to happen. This is so much different to a normal Leaving Cert year. If I had sat the exams I would have a rough idea of how I was going to do but now I really have no idea what those results will be like.

“It just kicks that ball down the way and makes it harder to focus on the end goal which is going to college. I am lucky that the course I want to do is low enough points and most of the courses I want to do are in DCU so it makes planning that bit easier but still I would love to have that certainty closer to the time.”

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times