Lots of high achievers in West Cork schools

August 18th, 2019 6:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

Mount Saint Michael Rosscarbery student Thomas Beese who achieved 7 H1 grades and the maximum 625 points, with school principal Bart Kerrisk and deputy principal Deirdre Keohane.

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Two female students at Schull Community College – who maxed the Junior Cert and then maxed the Leaving Cert three years later.

REPORTS: Jackie Keogh, Kieran O’Mahony and Emma Connolly


TWO female students at Schull Community College – who maxed the Junior Cert and then maxed the Leaving Cert three years later – have decided to shun the spotlight and join in a collective celebration.

A parent of one the girls said that they are just happy for each of the 55 students who sat the Leaving Cert and found that their hard work, over the last two years, had paid off.

Outgoing school principal Brendan Drinan echoed the sentiment, saying: ‘We found that the academically strong students did really well and the others – who were not so strong – got their courses and were happy with their results.’

Meanwhile, Sarah Buckley, who was announced as the new Schull principal, taking up her position on September 4th next, said she considers it ‘a privilege to have the opportunity to join a school with such an excellent reputation.’

Pauline Hurley, the principal at Scoil Phobail Bheara, said the marks achieved by the school’s 56 students went from 600 ‘right across the board.’ 

She said students, who would have traditionally veered toward UCC and CIT, are now broadening their options and taking up places in Dublin, Limerick and Galway.

‘In the culture we are in – when exams mean so much – every student has to be resilient to do the Leaving Cert, and every individual has to overcome something, and work hard to earn their results. But it is not just about going to university, many are opting for PLC courses and the trades.’

The Beara principal said: ‘The results also show the support of parents and all the staff. It is a jigsaw puzzle, and all the pieces have to come together.’

Kevin Healy, the principal of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, which saw 115 of its 696 students sit the exam, said the students are ‘delighted with the results, which are a reflection of their hard work and commitment, which was ably supported by all the team at CPB.’

Overall, the results are very much in line with previous years and is in keeping with the national trend of more students opting for high level, especially in the core subjects of English, Irish and Maths.

Mr Healy welcomed the fact that the appeals process has been shortened considerably and the creation, this year, of the student online portal, saying it ‘facilitates a more efficient application process’.

Skibbereen Community School praised all of its students and acknowledged the seven H1s – the maximum score – achieved by Patrick O’Brien (18) of Licknavar, Skibbereen, as well as noting the fact that there were 25 students – out of a total of 128 – who got over 500 points.

One Bandon student had plenty of reasons to smile on Tuesday after picking up the maximum points from her Leaving Cert results.

Annie O’Callaghan from Crossbarry, who sat her Leaving Certificate at Coláiste na Toirbirthe, received 625 points, much to her delight.

Principal Mary O’Donovan said the results overall from the students were fantastic and despite the fact that many had attended their debs the previous night, she said 90% of the students turned up at the school to collect their results, even though they could get them online an hour later.

‘Over 25% of the students received 500 points or more and some were in excess of 600 points. We are very proud of them and the effort they put into their study all year,’ she said.

‘I also want to acknowledge the Leaving Cert Applied class where 100% got distinctions.’

Across town, the boys from the ‘Hammies’ – some of them still in their suits from attending the Coláiste na Toirbhirthe debs the previous night – also turned up to collect their results.

Principal Eugene O’Brien said that the results this year were very good.

‘We had a good shot of fellas with over 500 points and we are very happy with them all and in fairness they worked hard all year to achieve their grades,’ said Mr O’Brien.

One such student, David Giles from Newcestown, said he was very pleased with his results and is confident he has enough points to study Law & Business in UCC.

Meanwhile, in Sacred Heart Secondary School  Clonakilty, principal Ann Marie Brosnan said they had a very busy morning handing out the results.

‘It was a pleasure to hand out the results to this fantastic group of girls and the results were excellent with quite a few on very high points, but sometimes the greatest success is that students finish the Leaving Cert and then decide what to do,’ she said.

‘We spent six years with them and it’s lovely to see them leave as confident young women.’

She also congratulated the Leaving Cert Applied class who all got distinctions.

Mount St Michael Rosscarbery student Thomas Beese was celebrating after a clean sweep of seven H1s, earning him 625 points. Principal Bart Kerrisk said this was the second year a student of theirs had achieved this highest possible result.

A total of 65 students sat the regular State exam, with an additional four taking the Leaving Cert Applied. 

‘We had 25% getting over 500 points,’ said Bart. 

‘We also had around 20% achieving a H2 or higher in higher level maths.’

‘We are very proud of all our students and delighted for their families. The fact that we have yet again a student who achieved 7 H1 grades is immense and a wonderful achievement.  We wish all our students every success for the future – they will make wonderful ambassadors for our school,’ added Bart.

At Kinsale Community School, two students were tied each on 617 points, and principal Fergal McCarthy said that the 167 students who sat the Leaving Cert this year got on very well.

‘We had a couple of students who received over 600 points and from meeting with them it seems that the vast majority will be getting their first-round college offers,’ said Fergal. ‘The Leaving Cert Applied class also did well, with some gaining distinctions while others gained merits.’

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