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Castlebar teenager top of Leaving Certificate class with nine straight A1s

Published 12/08/2015

Last year's top student, St Michael's College student Conor Gallagher, from Ballsbridge, Dublin, with his leaving certificate results of nine higher level A1s
Last year's top student, St Michael's College student Conor Gallagher, from Ballsbridge, Dublin, with his leaving certificate results of nine higher level A1s

Ireland's top scoring school leaver was cool, calm and collected on learning he made the grade in this year's Leaving Certificate, his headmaster said.

David Glynn, 18 from Castlebar, Co Mayo, was handed his remarkable results - nine A1s - when he turned up this morning at his school, St Gerald's College.

But the teenager, who wants to study mathematics at Trinity College Dublin, took it all in his stride, said school principal Daniel Hyland.

"When we handed him the results, we congratulated him as we do with all our students and then we followed him out to see his reaction," he said.

"But it was a very modest and very humble reaction.

"I think that is the kind of personality he is, there was no brash response. I think we were more excited for him than he was perhaps himself."

Mr Hyland said it was a humbling experience for himself as well, as his star pupil scored nearly twice as much in his did in his own Leaving Certificate.

"David took it all in his stride - a very cool, calm and collected individual, and to be honest to score those type of grades in the Leaving Cert you'd have to be that type of personality," he added.

"His friends were around him - and they themselves did very well - and they were all sincerely giving him such warm congratulations, it was lovely to see."

Mr Hyland said it was "a remarkable achievement for David and his parents and, of course, the teachers.

"We always knew he had great academic potential, but that was coupled with hard work. He is a very kind hearted person and diligent worker," he added.

"In fairness, we have a lot of good results this year, they've exceeded our expectations and the students have a promising future ahead of them. I'm delighted for them all."

Mr Glynn takes the crown from Conor Gallagher, from Ballsbridge, in Dublin, who achieved the same feat last year.

Another eight students scored eight A1s in this year's exams.

Top-ranking schools included Loreto College, St Stephen's Green, Loreto Abbey, in Dalkey, and Jesus and Mary College in Goatstown, all in Dublin.

Outside the capital, top scorers came from Sacred Heart Secondary School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ennis Community College in Co Clare, Mount Mercy College in Cork and St Fachtna's High School in Skibbereen, Co Cork.

As tens of thousands of anxious students were handed their results, it has emerged ordinary level maths grades are in line with previous years despite fury over the tests this summer.

Students, teachers and parents vented their near universal upset at the paper in June, in one of the major talking points of the exams.

But official figures show 5.5% of students taking ordinary maths got an A grade.

That's down just slightly on the 6.8% who got top marks in the paper last year, but up marginally on the 2013 figures.

Overall, the numbers who achieved A, B or C grades in ordinary maths is up significantly on previous years, while the proportion who received a D grade is down.

Other trends from this year's Leaving Certificate results include a growing number of students taking on physics and applied maths.

Some 5,764 pupils sat the honours physics paper this year, up nearly 1,000 since 2013.

There was also an increase in those sitting ordinary level physics, with top grades at both levels, as well as an increase in the numbers studying chemistry.

In applied maths, there has been a significant rise in students taking on both ordinary and higher level exams.

Almost 58,000 pupils are to receive their Leaving Certificate results today.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) said the results obtained in most subjects are "broadly in line" with those of previous years.

Teachers have urged students not to be upset if they did not get the results they expected.

Gerry Quinn, president of the Teachers Union of Ireland, said pupils should be congratulated on their achievements at a time when the education system has been damaged by cutbacks.

"They should keep things in perspective and remember that these exams will not define their lives," he added.

"There will be other opportunities to pursue their desired course if they did not secure the results that they hoped for today."

Children's charity ISPCC urged those feeling anxious or fearful about the future to talk to family and friends and remember they have lots of options.

Margie Roe, National Childline Manager, said: "For some young people, Leaving Cert results can leave them feeling sad, worried and anxious about the weeks, months and years to come.

"It is important to remember that there are lots of options out there but it is also important to take time to deal with what can be a stressful and upsetting time for leaving cert students."

Road safety chiefs urged celebrating students to make sure they get home safely.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority said: "You have your whole life ahead of you so be smart, make the right choice and get home safely tonight."

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