There were hugs, cheers and tears of joy at a secondary school in Dublin as some of the country’s 60,000 Leaving Certificate students collected their results.
Approximately 80 students at Donahies Community School sat their exams in June, with a handful returning on Friday to see how they had got on.
Some of the teenagers were able to access their results early online before 10am, while others found out their points from their teachers at the school.
They gathered to congratulate each other and wish each other well in securing places at colleges and universities.
Among the happy students was 16-year-old Mykyta Topcheiv, originally from Kyiv in Ukraine.
He arrived in Ireland in March 2022 and while he was placed in Third Year initially, he decided to tackle the two-year Leaving Cert curriculum in just one full academic year – all while also attending online lessons for his school in Kyiv.
Mykyta collected an impressive 447 points from the exams, which he hopes will secure him a spot on a computer science course.
He told the PA news agency: “I didn’t know if my visa would be continued for a few years more so I just wanted to be able to pass the exam, just to try, because I didn’t want to lose this opportunity.”
The teenager added: “I needed to learn the two-year programme in one year and actually I still study in my Ukrainian school online.”
Mykyta has final-year examinations in that school next year, but he added: “I hope I won’t do them because if I would be here in university, I don’t need to finish in the other school.”
He said he did better than he expected and he hopes to study computer science.
Elsewhere, Jodie McCarthy cried tears of joy as she was congratulated by her friends and family for her results.
She said: “I’m delighted.”
Friends Sophie Brohoon, Niamh Woods and Rebecca Kavanagh celebrated their results at the school.
Sophie said: “I’m so happy I passed the maths. I got my course with 50 points to spare, so I’m so happy with how it all turned out.”
She hopes to study secondary school teaching in DCU.
Rebecca, who also hopes to do teaching, said she was delighted to get 40 more points than what she thinks she needs.
Niamh, who wants to study law and politics at DCU, said: “I got like 120 more points than what I need. I’m so happy, I never thought that would happen.”
School principal Peter Keohane said: “I’m delighted. It’s all joy and happiness here this morning. So very, very happy with that.”
However, he added that some students may be disappointed with their results, saying: “Always a very worrying day, you know. You just want them all to be happy.
“You know, it’s just the next stepping stone. This is an important day in their lives. But you know, somebody said to me one time: ‘This day last year, what was your biggest worry?’ And I could never remember.
“So by this time next year, every one of them have the maturity and the intelligence and the ability to be exactly where they want to be.”
Some 61,736 students were receiving results on Friday, including 58,006 Leaving Cert candidates and 3,730 Leaving Cert Applied applicants.
The National Parents and Students Leaving Cert Helpline on 1800 265 165 will operate from August 25 until September 2, at 10am to 6pm each day, except for August 27, when it will be open from 10am to 2pm, and September 2, when it will be open from 10am to 4pm.