Eight of the very best Leaving Certificate grades would be the pinnacle of any young person’s achievement, but it doesn’t beat an All-Ireland camogie medal for one Limerick student.
Laura Stack from Dromcollogher is one of just 13 from over 58,5000 people doing the Leaving Certificate this year to get the top H1 grade in eight subjects. With 90% or better in all her exams, equivalent to the old higher-level A1, it was a phenomenal set of results.
But, pushed on how it compares to winning an All-Ireland club medal two years ago with Milford, her local club just over the county boundary in north Cork, she said the sporting achievement just about pipped the exam grades.
Laura scored a second-half goal that secured Milford’s third All-Ireland senior title in four years in March 2016.
“They’re very different feelings, but the camogie win was a team effort and it was something you share with other people,” said 18-year-old Laura.
That was not to suggest she was not completely thrilled, and surprised, by her Leaving Certificate results. She was particularly nervous about how she had done in two science subjects before collecting the perfect scores at Hazelwood College yesterday morning.
“I needed to get CAO points in the 500s and I thought chemistry and biology were tricky enough exams,” she said.
But Laura need have had no fears and with higher-level maths among the subjects she got top marks in, her unbeatable 625 CAO points means she could have got into any course in the country. As it happens, she should be offered a place next Monday on her top choice, management science and information systems at Trinity College Dublin.
If staff at Hazelwood College had cause to celebrate, then there was double reason to do so at an all-Irish school in Stillorgan.
Caomhán Ó Conchúir from Cabinteely, and Cillian Ó Dochartaigh from Walkinstown, evenly shared 16 H1s when they picked up their results from principal Proinsias de Poire at Coláiste Eoin . “Both have been extraordinary students, and not just academically, we’re extremely proud of them,” said Mr de Poire.
Caomhán was on a team that won a European debating competition in German, while Cillian brought home a medal from the International Maths Olympiad in Brazil last month.
Among the others with eight H1s were Conor Galvin of Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare, Kate Collins, Holy Faith Secondary, Clontarf, Dublin, Kate Duggan in Coláiste Iognáid in Galway City, and Jack Synnott who picked up his results from St Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda, Co Louth. The others include students at four Dublin schools: Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green; St Vincent’s College, Castle-knock; Blackrock College; and Ashfield College in Dundrum.
There were also eight H1s for students at Confey College in Leixlip, Co Kildare, and St Gerard’s School in Bray, Co Wicklow.
A further 50 students got seven H1s yesterday, 10 more than the number with seven higher-level A1s a year ago.
There were at least 600 CAO points for 130 students with six H1s, with those who had higher-level maths among those six subjects able to boast the maximum CAO points score of 625. Nearly 7,000 students got a single H1, nearly 300 more than those with one higher-level A1 in 2016.
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