Tuesday 22 May 2018

Two sets of Dublin twins score top Leaving Cert results in the country


Identical twins Jamie Walsh Martin (left) and brother Ross from Ballsbridge celebrate their 7 A1s each with fellow students at the Institute of Education, Leeson Street, Dublin
Identical twins Jamie Walsh Martin (left) and brother Ross from Ballsbridge celebrate their 7 A1s each with fellow students at the Institute of Education, Leeson Street, Dublin
Alva Casey (left) with her twin sister Niamh. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It was a 'twin thing' in the capital, as two sets of Dublin twins scored among the best Leaving Cert results in the country.

Identical twins Jamie and Ross Walsh Martin scooped an identical seven A1s in the same subjects yesterday, securing 725 points each.

In a strange twist the aspiring doctors also scored almost identical marks on their H-Pat (Health Professions Admission) tests, with Jamie scoring in the 98th percentile and his brother scoring in the 92th percentile.

"It might be better to branch out and specialise in different areas so the competition can finally end," Ross joked.


The talented twins were waiting anxiously at home in Ballsbridge for their results - left on edge by a delayed postman - when their principal accidentally spoiled the surprise.

"She rang us and said: 'Congratulations' and I said: 'Well I don't know what I got yet'," Jamie said.

The pair studied chemistry, physics, accounting and Spanish, studying together throughout the year.

"Nothing comes easy, we worked a fair bit," Jamie said.

"I wouldn't want Ross to do worse, but it's easier to do the best so then you can't be beaten."

Anne Marie Griffin, principal at the Institute of Education on Leeson Street, said the boys had kept apace with each other throughout the year.

"They were both excellent students," she said.

Elsewhere, Lola Hourihan (18) from Goatstown achieved eight A1s - one of just eight students nationwide to manage it.

"I feel kind of overwhelmed. I was delighted and surprised, to be honest," she said.

"My principle handed me my envelope and said: 'I think you'll be happy'.

"That put me on edge, but it was such a relief to open them and see the results."

She said she'll be taking a year off to decide what she'd like to do next, but is interested in becoming a scientist or a writer.

In Dalkey, another set of wonder twins received impressive grades.

Alva Casey (19), of Loreto Abbey Secondary School, earned eight A1s.

Her twin sister, Niamh, also achieved a remarkably high score of 595 points.

The pair, from Monkstown, studied French, physics, chemistry, biology and music. They said they were over the moon.

"It was a great surprise," Alva said.

"We went down together this morning and our principal gave me the envelope and I pretty much just ripped it open."

The sisters told the Herald that they tried to preoccupy themselves for the summer to help keep the nerves at bay.

"Doing a bit every day from the start of fifth year" was the key to their success, with the pair saying that playing traditional Irish music was their way of taking a study break.


"Studying together helped a lot, because it meant I wasn't studying in a room by myself," said Alva.

"We'd test each other," said Niamh. "If we were taking a 10-15 minute study break, we'd play a few tunes," she added.

Having holidayed together, studied together and taken all the same subjects, the pair are inseparable, but that will all change when they begin attending different colleges in September.

"We're really close. It'll be different, because I'm looking to study science in Trinity and Niamh wants to do veterinary medicine in UCD, but we'll still see each other loads," said Alva.

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