Principal, Caroline Herrity, and retiring Principal Colm O’Connor (right) with Robert McGovern, Claire Nugent, Patrick Cullen, Jesse McLoughlin at Pipers Hill College, Naas PIC: T Keane
The sun was shining as the students started to gather at Pipers Hill College in Naas shortly before 9am this morning.
There was an air of anticipation as retired principal Colm O'Gorman and new principal Caroline Herity were preparing to give out the Leaving Cert results. Bundles of white A4 envelopes were divided into classes as some parents waited outside.
Friends Ciara Smith and Robert McGovern were two of the first students to get a peak inside their envelopes.
Ciara took a deep breath and scanned down through the page with her mam.
"It's okay. It's better than I thought," she said as she breathed a sigh of relief, "I want to do Sociology and Social Policy in Maynooth, so I should have enough points."
Robert said he could have done better in English but overall he was happy with his results. He is hoping to become an Aerospace Engineer and is down to the last stage of the process following interviews in Shannon. He needed to pass all his subjects, which he did, and is hoping to hear soon whether he will be accepted.
Classmate, Patrick Cullen is also down to the last stages of the process of applying to become an Aerospace Engineer. The two students were two candidates out of a total of 1,500 who applied. That was whittled down to 90. There are only 15 places available.
Mark Tully is well on his way to studying Electrical Engineering at DIT.
"I am delighted. I did better than I thought I would. I got about 100 more points more than I thought I'd get," he said.
When asked if he was nervous coming in, he replied: "You have no idea."
His mum Fiona said; "I am absolutely over the moon. I am a really really proud mum."
Friends Vanessa Kifu and Noreen Nzekwe were in high spirits.
"I am shocked," said Vanessa, who plans to do a business course, "I just feel euphoric. I am really happy. I am really proud of myself and all my friends."
"I am relieved," added Noreen, "It was a very long wait (the summer). I am really excited about college and studying Forensic Science."
Retiring Principal, Colm O'Connor said: "I would like to say that in my time as principal, these are the best results I have ever seen. I am very very happy."
He singled out Lauren Walsh for special mention. Lauren represented Ireland at international level in golf at the Junior Olympics in Argentina, at national competitions and also had a hectic training schedule.
"She managed to excel in the field of sport and despite missing school time and through her dedication, she managed to achieve 590 points. She now has a scholarship in the States with a college in the US. It just shows you can be dedicated to sport and do well in school as well," he said.
Luke Mooney-Foley also had excellent results with a points tally in excess of over 600 points. Mr O'Connor said he hopes to study Maths in Trinity.
A dozen students would have achieved more than 500 points.
Mr O'Connor said the results were generally good across the board but Maths was traditionally a very strong subject in the school. 180 students sat the exam, 16 of whom did the Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) exams. Over 25% of the LCA students got distinctions.