“Exceptional” and “significant” were some of the reactions of Mullingar’s school principals on Wednesday, when some 500 of their students discovered what their future was now most likely to hold.
“They’ve calmed down a bit now,” said the spokesman for St Mary’s CBS when asked what the situation was like in the school on Leaving Cert results day, before adding: “The results are exceptional and there are quite a number over 500 points,” he added.
However, with a specialist repeat class that offered a second chance to 80 students available in the school, he felt it important to point out that “some of the repeats managed improvements of 180 points”.
Chris Howley, principal in the Community College, was equally happy with the efforts of his classes.
He told how two girls repeating their exams “doubled their points” and that 75 per cent of his Leaving Cert Applied achieved a merit - equivalent to a B-grade.
“The minimum improvement in the repeat class was 50 points, and the maths result was against the national trend [down 10 per cent]. We had a 100 per cent pass at higher level,” he said.
“The feeling in the Community College is very good. Students are very happy, across the board,” he added.
A similar ebullience was evident a little out the road in Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham where just one out of 60 candidates failed maths.
“That was pleasing. To my mind that was significant...We’re not just looking at the As,” said headmaster Adrian Oughton.
“I was very gratified to see Irish marks upheld, you know, where popular culture would tend to call it a ‘waste of time’. There was none of that.”
Mr Oughton also declared his pleasure at the fact the numbers taking physics in his academy were up by 50 per cent and that the four science subjects “all had As”.
In his 20th year in charge of Wilson’s, Mr Oughton said he always found the reactions of the students receiving their results on this day of days very interesting.
“About one third open them there and then, about one third take them and open them outside the building, and one third will take them away without looking at them,” he said.
“Oh, and there’s always one or two who’ll turn up 20 minutes before the office closes, saying ‘Sorry sir, honestly, we forgot all about it!’”.
In St Finian’s College, Fr Paul Connell was “Delighted. They were excellent results”, with two of his pupils managing over 600 points.
“They all seem to have done well according to their abilities,” he said.
“It’s a huge tribute to their work ethic, and an enormous tribute to the staff,” he continued.
“There was some worry nationally [on the maths results] but we were OK. We’ve a good track record on that,” he said.
Over 58,000 people received their results practically simultaneously on Wednesday morning, and all of this was co-ordinated through the Department of Education in Athlone.
Nobody from Loreto College was available for comment.