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Mixed emotions among Achill Leaving Cert students

TY pays off for McHale College students

Anton McNulty

The Leaving Cert students of McHale College in Achill must be a laid back bunch because they weren’t quite bursting through the doors early in the morning to get their hands on their results. By a quarter to ten about only half a dozen or so of the class of 2011 had arrived to collect their results and for the next half hour it did not get much busier.
When the students do start to arrive there are proud smiles as they leave the office of school principal Barry Kilgannon with their slip of paper. Martina Gallagher explained that she was very nervous in the morning but was ‘very happy’ with her results and expects to have the points to study national school teaching in Marino.
Niamh Maguire was ‘extremely nervous’ going into Mr Kilgannon’s office but was also delighted with the results.
“I didn’t listen to the radio this morning but I was really worried about Maths this morning but I am very happy with it. I will have to wait for the CAO offers to come out to see what I will do,” he said.
Both Tommy Kilbane and Ben Monaghan were delighted with themselves after getting better what they expected and were looking forward to going to college.
Despite getting 490 points, Rachel Knipe said she might just miss out on her first choice of Occupational Therapy in NUI Galway but is not disappointed and may study her second choice of Psychology and Sociology in University of Limerick.
This year’s Leaving Cert students were the oldest group to sit the exams in McHale College because of the introduction of Transition Year three years ago and Barry Kilgannon believes they all benefitted from that extra year.
“This was the first Leaving Cert class to go through Transition Year in the school and we are very happy with the way the results have gone for the students. TY has played a huge role in that and the extra year year seems to have made a huge difference to results and we are delighted with them. The extra year adds a bit more maturity and they are generally more focused when it comes to sitting the Leaving Cert,” he said.
Meanwhile across the fence in Scoil Damhnait it was a somewhat emotional day for the Principal Máire Sweeney as she handed out the Leaving Cert results for the final time before the amalgamation of the two Achill schools.
“It is a bit emotional I have to say for all of us here in the school. I think the students also realise that they are the last class to receive their Leaving Cert results out of all the classes that went before them.
“We are very pleased with the results and we are delighted for the students, not just the high achievers but to all of them who put in the work. We are very pleased with them and wish them all the best of luck into the future,” she said.