Straight As, a keeper's comeback and one happy hurler


Cork: LORETO Convent in Fermoy was celebrating yesterday as two of its pupils, Róisín Ryan and Gabrielle O’Donoghue, were among just a handful of students to scoop eight A1s.

Most of the 102 girls who sat the Leaving Cert were happy with their results, said principal Mary Ryan.

Róisín and Gabrielle were not the only high achievers at Loreto; their classmates Deirdre O’Mahony and Joanne O’Brien each achieved six A1s.

Róisín, who got A1s in Irish, English, maths, applied maths, chemistry, biology, music and French, was thrilled with her performance. “I want to do medicine in UCC but I never thought I would do so well, especially getting an A1 in something like English – I’m absolutely delighted.”

In Cork city, Dr Larry Jordan, principal of Christian Brothers College, was equally pleased with the results of its 108 students, who didn’t appear to have any great problems with maths or sciences.

“We didn’t see any evidence of the concern that is being highlighted nationally . . . We had 21 students doing higher level maths and 16 of them got As while we had 17 students doing higher level physics and 13 got As and the rest got B1s,” he said.

Among the school’s students to perform particularly well were Daniel Ahern from Montenotte and Cillian Power from Mallow who were among the 92 students nationally who achieved six A1s.

Across the city in Christ the King, principal Mary Keane was equally pleased. Among those celebrating was Gemma Cremen from Carrigaline who got 580 points. Douglas girls Sarah Frawley and Leah Hurley, who only took up Japanese in Transition Year, both achieved A1s in the subject.

In Presentation Brothers College, Patrick O’Donovan from White’s Cross achieved a similar result in Japanese and has already won himself a scholarship to Japan.

His classmates Donagh Kelleher, Ben Dobson and John Holland all achieved six A1s. – Barry Roche


IRELAND’S newest sporting celebrity was remaining coy on how she performed. 17-year-old Gráinne Murphy, who last week won a silver medal in the 1,500m freestyle at the European Swimming championships in Budapest, sat part of her Leaving Cert in June and did exams in German, English and business. She travelled with her parents to Castletroy College in Co Limerick to pick up her results.

Her father Brendan said she was thrilled. “She passed the three – better than expected,” he said. Gráinne planned to spend the night celebrating with friends in Limerick. “I can tell you she won’t be drinking,” said her proud father.

Gráinne will complete the remainder of her Leaving Certificate in June 2011.

– Ken Murray


INSIDE Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny’s Irish-speaking secondary school, there was huge excitement among its 27 Leaving Cert students.

But just yards across the street, the scene could not have been more different. A snaking queue of people waiting to sign on at the local welfare office stretched more than 200 yards.

Principal Micheál Ó Giobúin, admitted the scene was a timely reminder of the world outside of student life. “It’s shocking to see so many people having to sign on . . . That’s why we are trying to encourage all our students to stay on in some form of education.

“We are even encouraging those who left a few years ago who might have found themselves unemployed to return and get a better Leaving Cert and start again,” he said.

Donal McElwaine was delighted with his 545 points, which should get him a place to study architecture at UCD.

Siún Nic Mhongail also did better than she expected. Her 440 points should be enough for her to do arts at NUIG. “I’m especially happy with getting an A1 in English. I would like to become an English teacher someday,” she said.

Róisín Nic Eacharcaigh was hospitalised in January after being struck in the face playing in goal for the Donegal women’s senior football side. She missed 12 weeks of school including mock exams.

“When I did come to school I couldn’t even hold a pen at times and my vision was all blurred. But thankfully it went away and I managed to sit the Leaving Cert,” said Róisín, who got 425 points.

– Stephen Maguire


IT was a case of celebrating on the triple in one household when a set of triplets picked up their results.

Nineteen-year-old siblings Breeda, Sarah and Anthony Griffin from Croom in Co Limerick collected their results from the Crescent College Comprehensive in Dooradoyle.

“We’re delighted with the results and looking forward to a good night out celebrating,” said Sarah who wants to study nursing.

Her sister Breeda also wants to be a nurse and is hoping to specialise in midwifery.

Their brother Anthony is hoping to attend Pallaskenry Agricultural College in Co Limerick.

The triplets were celebrating their results at the family home yesterday with proud parents Margaret and Noel.

– Kathryn Hayes


WATERFORD hurler Brian O’Halloran (19), who was bitterly disappointed after being beaten by Tipperary in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final clash at Croke Park, was celebrating yesterday after scoring 505 points in his Leaving Cert.

From Clashmore in Co Waterford, Brian admitted the pressure of the hurling championship was greater than that of his Leaving Cert. He is a student of Pobalscoil Na Tríonóide in Youghal.

With his results he is confident that he will be able to go on and study to become a primary school teacher at Mary Immaculate College.

However, the corner forward said he would have to put off major celebrations because he is needed by his club team, Clashmore, for an important game on Saturday.

He said his school was a very good one: “A lot of kids got over 500 points. My parents are delighted – I put in a good bit of effort so I’m happy enough with the result.”

– Ciaran Murphy