Junior Cert: Results day brings joy and shock for students

There was delight for students all around the country — but particular elation for an exclusive club of just six who got 12 higher-level As in their Junior Certificate results.

The grades were handed out by staff at schools and colleges to 59,522 students from yesterday morning.

Cian Deasy was still shaking with the shock just 10 minutes after getting his results from principal Jim Long shortly before lunch at Douglas Community School in Cork.

“I was hoping for maybe two or three Bs, but I never thought I’d have got all As,” said the 15-year-old.

Junior Cert: Results day brings joy and shock for students

Sadhbh Ni Dhrischeoil and Rowan Elliot, Coláiste Daibhéid, Cork City, receive their results. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney

He did all subjects except music through the school, and was most surprised at his result in science, which he felt he had not done his best in last June.

For another Cork student, Anne O’Farrell at Mount Mercy College in Bishopstown, there was also huge excitement after she received the same 12-As accolade.

“I was really busy throughout the year, so I really didn’t think too much of it. Particularly science, I never thought I’d get an A, I thought I’d barely get a B,” said Anne, who is a keen participant in camogie, rowing, and hockey.

Four others got the same results, also all in higher-level subjects, and are students at: St John Boso Community College, Kildysart, Co Clare; Coláiste Lorcain, Castledermot, Co Kildare; Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co Longford; and St Kevin’s Community College in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.

Junior Cert: Results day brings joy and shock for students

Anne O’Farrell, of Mount Mercy College, Cork, celebrates her 12 higher-level A grades in the Junior Certificate, with college principal Padraigín Uí Riordáin.

A teenager who did his Junior Certificate exams while he and his mother were living in a hotel told RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline that he was very pleased with his seven honours and three pass grades.

“I was nervous but I knew I was going to do well,” he said.

Carlos and his mum Lorraine were sleeping in the Phoenix Park when they spoke to the show a month ago. They are currently in emergency accommodation in a B&B/hostel on Dublin’s North Circular Rd. They have been homeless since December but Carlos is still in school, and is now in fifth year, while Lorraine is waiting for a date for an operation to reverse a colostomy.

The national Junior Certificate results showed continuing rises in the numbers of students taking higher-level maths and Irish, both tied to curricular reforms.

Junior Cert: Results day brings joy and shock for students

Charlotte Murphy and Ali Feely, students at Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, Tralee, Co Kerry, receive their Junior Certificate results. Picture: Domnick Walsh

The maths improvements also suggest an influence of the availability of bonus points for college applicants with a grade in higher- level Leaving Certificate maths.

National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) director Clive Byrne said it is a significant development.

“More students recognise that, by taking the higher-level maths paper in the Junior Certificate exam, they may be better prepared for the challenge of the Leaving Certificate, and the Project Maths initiative, as well as greater opportunities to follow a successful career pathway,” he said.

Mr Byrne also welcomed the numbers of students taking optional oral exams in languages such as Spanish and Italian.

Junior Cert: Results day brings joy and shock for students

Beata Ostruska and Ausra Gabrenaite get their Junior Cert results from Limerick Adult Education College. Picture: Gareth Williams

“The fact that our future generations are increasingly equipped with strong language and communication skills is very promising, as is the increase in students taking higher level science.

“It is an indication of the subjects they will pursue towards the Leaving Certificate and the qualifications of the next generation of school leavers.

“Such skills can hopefully help to tackle current knowledge gaps faced by many industry sectors, including Ireland’s burgeoning digital economy.”

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