Regina Mundi student Jessica O’Shea had one of the top results in the country today, achieving 8 A1s in her Leaving Cert writes David Linnane.
With no one getting 9 A1s, she shares the top spot this year with a handful of others around the country.
Speaking this morning, the 18-year-old from the Well Road, Douglas, said that she was taken aback by the results.
“I kind of guessed how well I did on each paper."
I thought maths paper two was very tough, but it worked out, so it’s all a bit of a surprise.
My mom and my aunt were already crying,” she said.
However, her principal, Dr Mary O’Donovan, expected her to do as well as she did. “It’s no surprise. She’s been a quite consistent and capable student. We’re absolutely delighted. It’s a wonderful result for a wonderful student. It’s not just about the academics. She’s an all-rounder. She has contributed to every part of the school. We’re very proud,” she said.
Despite her academic commitments, Jessica managed to play violin in orchestras throughout the year — a skill that also scored her an A1 in her favourite subject, music. “It’s a bit hard to juggle everything,” she said.
Even though she got enough points to do anything, she still plans to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a primary teacher, and should get her confirmation from Mary I in Limerick next week. While she can rest easy for the next few days, she said she will still be looking out for some of her friends before the CAO offers come out.
Mary Keane, principal of Christ King Girls’ Secondary School, said that the trends showed this was a “very competitive year” and a lot of students may not have got the results they expected.
“What we are noticing is less A1s, but a lot of A2s,” she said. She was still pleased with her pupils’ results with a number of A1s and other high grades in biology, and every higher level maths student passing and getting 25 bonus points.
She said she was also pleased with the performance of some of the weaker students, who were able to meet their potential on exam days. However, she said that it’s the next couple of days that will be tough as students wait for their CAO offers.
She said that there was nothing stopping the CAO releasing the points and the offers on the same day, and it would take a lot of stress off of students who have no idea whether their points will be enough.
“It’s very tough. It’s like getting ready for the Olympics, lining up at the starting block, and then you don’t know if the race is 800 metres or 400 metres. They should bring them all on the same day,” she said.