herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

'It hasn't sunk in', says student with eight A1s in her Leaving

Niamh Ryan with her prized Leaving Certificate results. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Copyright Collins Photo Agency
Niamh Ryan with her prized Leaving Certificate results. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Copyright Collins Photo Agency
Andrew Cleary also received eight A1 grades in the Leaving Cert exams. Photo: Douglas O'Connor

One of the Leaving Cert's highest achievers admitted she was "trembling with fear" as she opened her results envelope.

Niamh Ryan (18), of Loreto College, St Stephen's Green was one six people across Ireland who who received eight A1 grades.

Three of those six attended schools in Dublin.

Shaking

"I had worked so hard over the last two years, I was shaking when I was handed my results," Niamh told the Herald.

"I was so worked up I needed a run to clear my head before I collected them."

Having prepared for the worst, the Castleknock native breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her final results.

"It still hasn't sunk in - eight A1s," she said. "I'm so happy because it guarantees me a place at Cambridge."

Niamh plans to study chemical engineering at the prestigious university, and added: "Until now I refused to plan anything, because I didn't know if I'd be celebrating or wallowing."

The young student joined two others from Dublin who achieved the most marks this year. While no candidate received nine A1s, Andrew Cleary (18), from Gonzaga College, came close with eight A1s and one A2.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest, because I never dreamed I'd do so well," he said. "I'm absolutely delighted - my parents even more so, I think."

Andrew described the moment he saw his exam results as one of "utter relief".

The Carrickmines student sat exams for four languages - Irish, French, Spanish and Latin - and also tackled Physics and Applied Maths.

He plans to study Theoretical Physics at Trinity College.

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