Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Fears of student with nine A1s

Youngsters receive their Leaving Certificate results at Loreto School in St Stephen's Green, Dublin

Ireland's smartest student fears he will have to leave the country to get a job when he leaves university.

Mark Berney scored nine A1s in his Leaving Certificate, despite starting to teach himself one of the subjects only six months before the state exam.

The 18-year-old said he was so nervous opening his result at Gorey Community School in Co Wexford that he ripped the envelope.

"I was just so surprised," said Mark, the only person to get top marks in nine subjects, adding: "When I saw the list of As, I was really shocked."

The teenager started teaching himself biology from text books in February to fill a gap when his teacher finished the chemistry curriculum ahead of time.

He plans to take science at Trinity College and eventually specialise in chemical research, but he admits that is a "long way off".

The teenager, from the townland of Kilmurray, who is searching for a part-time job, said: "I'm worried because I want to go into research and I might have to go abroad to find a decent research job."

Almost 56,000 teenagers have received Leaving Certificate results, with a record one in four sitting honours maths for the first time.

Mark was celebrating his grades alongside close school friends Aaron Collier, who got the maximum 600 points, and Dermot Wild, who achieved 590.

Nine other students in the country managed eight A1s, another 50 got top marks in seven subjects, and 92 pupils got 600 points.

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