Leaving cert joy as magnificent seven score top grades
It was seventh heaven for the country's highest achievers yesterday, with seven students clinching eight H1s in their Leaving Cert results yesterday.
It was an all-male affair too as Daire Byrne, Alan Hickey, Andres Clarke, Alex Burke, Liam Mariga, Lorcan Mulkerrins, and Harry Deacon all found themselves on the roll-call for the top grades.
Daire Byrne, from Lucan, Co Dublin had not been expecting to see eight H1s.
The Colaiste Phadraig student was taking it all in his stride saying that the results were just a "check-point" for him as he heads to Edinburgh in September.
Principal Tony Brady was full of praise for his star pupil, and said Daire was a great example of how you don't have to attend a private school to achieve such great results.
"Lads can achieve these results in their local schools once they go in, work with the staff, and put the work in themselves, and have the support of their parents," he said.
There must have been something in the water in Dublin as another star student was Andres Clarke, a forrmer pupil at Oatlands College, Mount Merrion on the southside of the city.
It was a double celebration for Andres, as yesterday also marked his birthday.
The Donnybrook teenager said it was a "surreal moment".
High achiever Andres said a part-time job during his final year at school and swimming helped him take a step back from study when necessary.
Another Dub who achieved an incredible eight H1s was Alan Hickey (18), from Foxrock.
He had distracted himself on Tuesday by working, but by yesterday, nerves had started to kick in, as his personal target of six H1s played on his mind.
"I was relieved when I opened the envelope and saw that I got eight H1s, I had done fairly well all year in exams and to get six H1s was a target of mine, but I never expected to get eight," said the Christian Brothers College Monkstown student.
Rounding off the Dublin contingent was Harry Deacon of St Andrew's College.
The Sandymount boy is hoping to go to Oxford University where he will study economics and management.
Harry, who paid tribute to his school "for all the effort and dedication they put into their students", said it was "all about balance.
"I didn't stop doing things because of the Leaving Cert, I did the school musical, went on a Model United Nations trip abroad - that kind of balance keeps you sane," he said.
Proud headmistress of St. Andrew's College, Blackrock, Joan Kirby, described Harry as a "role model" for students and praised his work ethic.
"Harry has a fantastic work ethic, he was such an all-rounder," Ms Kirby told the Herald.
"He's a great role model for other students as it shows you don't have to give up sport, music or your hobbies while studying for the exams."
There was more joy in Cork as two students received the coveted top marks.
Alex Burke said he was filled with "relief" after seeing his results.
The Montenotte boy praised his school, Christian Brothers College, Sidney Hill, Cork for their dedication throughout the year and now hopes to attend UCD to study chemistry.
"I was always interested in cancer research," he said.
"I fell in love with chemistry from day one here in school and then I thought about ways to apply it."
Elsewhere in the county, Liam Mariga from Midleton College was also celebrating.
"Liam is one of triplets, so it's a big day in his household today," principal Edward Gash said.
In Galway, Lorcan Mulkerrins from Salthill, of Yeats College in the city, was already looking forward to the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday, where he hoped there would be more to celebrate.
"He'll follow his brother and sisters into medicine now.
"He got fabulous support from all his teachers," said Lorcan's proud mum.