Top marks for Wexford pupils as they receive their long-awaited Leaving Cert results
the agonising wait was finally over for 1,755 Wexford students as they tore open brown envelopes to read the results of their Leaving Cert last week.
It was a moment that officially marked the end of hours spent studying and worrying; a moment that, for many in the county, proved to be a joyful one.
At St. Peter's College on Summerhill, spirits were certainly high, with many students achieving particularly impressive results.
'We have a few students who received above the 600 mark and we are so pleased with them,' said Principal of St. Peters, Robert O'Callaghan. 'They have always aspired to good results and have worked hard over the last few years. Their rewards are definitely deserved.'
Chris Doyle, from Killinick, was one of the high achievers, receiving 595 points in his exams.
'I'm delighted with my results,' he said. 'I now hope to go on to study Engineering.'
Sitting on the school wall in the sunshine, friends Luke McDermott and Sean Dunne, both from Piercestown, shared in his celebrations as they too received well above 500 points.
Aodhán Foley from Castlebridge may be relieved that the Leaving Cert. is over but it won't be long before he is in the classroom again.
'I got 435 points so it looks like I will be going to Pat's to become a teacher,' he said.
The mood was tense over at the Loreto as 117 students arrived through the school doors to pick up their results. Billy O'Shea, Principal of Loreto College, ensured that he was there from early on to offer support to the girls on the important day.
'I like to be there for them. It's important,' he said. 'We are very happy with every one of them.'
Beth Sheridan, from Barntown, admitted that she was extremely nervous the night before receiving her results.
'I felt really anxious but I just had to learn to deal with it,' she said.
The bright spark found that she had nothing to worry about when she learned that she scored 450 points. She hopes to go on to study Communications in DCU along with friend Aisling Fagan, also from Barntown. However, before she returns to academic life, Aisling is looking forward to celebrations with family, along with some well-deserved rest.
'I'd say I got about three hours of sleep last night,' she laughed. 'I'm so glad it is all over!
Sitting in separate cars in front of the school, Jessica O' Brien and Katie Ryan from Coolcotts shared the nail-biting moment with their mothers before joining together to rejoice. There were plenty of hugs and smiles as the girls swapped their results and spoke about what they planned next.
'I am really happy with my results,' said Jessica, who hopes that she has achieved what it takes to pursue her ambition to become a nurse. However, she wasn't letting the idea of CAO results worry her just yet, as she was excited to meet the rest of her classmates in The Centenary Stores that night.
Jessica echoed Katie's joy and hopes to go on to do a course in hairdressing.
Smiles of relief and delight were mirrored across the sunny carpark as more happy students emerged from the school with great results.
According to Emer Ryan, Principal of Selskar College (formerly the Vocational College), all of the students from their school should have received enough points to follow their chosen paths. However, she felt that it important for students to know that there are alternative routes to higher education.
'There are still places available in our PLC course which gives participants the relevant skills for further education,' she said. 'It is important for students to know that you don't necessarily need Leaving Cert. points to get into a college course.'
At CBS, a nervous Chris Doyle, from Barntown, accepted his envelope which he opened in the lobby amongst his fellow students. He read his results with a look of disbelief as he realised that all of his hard work had paid off.
'I didn't expect this at all,' said Chris. 'I want to study Biological Earth and Environmental Science and now I know I can. I received 535 so I exceeded what I need.'
Principal of CBS, Michael McMahon, commended Chris on his great achievement. According to Michael, Chris was one of the many remarkable students.
'The vast majority of our students reached and exceeded expectations,' he said. 'They kept up to the usual high standards that they have shown over the last six years. We wish them all the best in their futures.'
Seán Donoghue and Kyle Kehoe from Wexford stayed away from the commotion with friend Callum Morris from Barntown. Sitting on a step in the sunshine, each boy clutched a smartphone in hand as they frantically tried to calculate their results.
'I am absolutely thrilled with my results!' announced a grinning Callum.
Down the road, Principal of Presentation College, Breda Cogley, presented the important envelopes to each student, who then gathered together in front of the school for the moment of truth.
'We are delighted with them all,' she said. 'They did really well.'
Clusters of friends gathered around the yard to swap results, including Shauna Rogan, Ellie Smith and Geraldine Howlin.
Ellie, who hails from Castlebridge, was delighted with her results. Already certain that she has a place in a beauty therapy course, the only thing left for her to do was celebrate.
'We're looking forward to hitting the town tonight!' she said.