WHEN tackling algebra, or some of those tricky maths equations, your dad may not be the best person to help you. However, in the McCarthy household in Suncroft, circumstances were a little different, as Kayleigh and her father Brendan both sat the Leaving Cert this year.
Kayleigh was attending the Holy Family Secondary School and army corporal, Brendan enrolled at the Curragh Post Primary to complete fifth and sixth year culminating in the duo sitting the exams at the same time.
Last Wednesday August 17, the pair both picked up their Leaving Cert results and were delighted with the outcome.
“They both did excellent,” said proud mum and wife, Corina.
When asked what was it like when they were preparing for the exams during the year, Brendan replied; “It was tough but it was good. We could compare different notes and things like that. We could compare the answers we gave in the mocks and see how we did. I learned a lot and I was able to help Kayleigh a bit more too because I was in the system and I knew how it worked.”
Kayleigh said it was “a bit different” to have her father studying the same subjects and exam questions. “We could help each other so that worked well,” she said.
They pair also went to see Hamlet and were able to debate the merits of the play.
After the exams were over, Brendan went back to work.
“I could put my army hat back on. I had a job to go to, so it was different for me. I wasn’t depending on my results. In fairness to the army, they have been a great support. I had a good few people texting and wishing me well,” he explained.
He praised his classmates at the Curragh Post Primary and said there was a great camaraderie in the class.
He stressed that there are college courses that are available to soldiers - once they are relevant to their field. Brendan is thinking about embarking on further study but has not fully decided yet.
Kayleigh plans to study Law in Carlow.
Brendan said the whole experience can be nerve-wracking for students. “There is a lot of pressure on kids when the exams are coming up. I still have a job to go to tomorrow but they are trying to get on courses and get enough points. You can really get caught up in that. It can be tough,” he stressed.