Leaving Certificate: Laois student achieves the maximum 625 points

Domhnall O'Farrell from Mountrath Community School who got the maximum 625 points in his Leaving Cert exams

A student from Mountrath Community School has achieved the highest possible marks in the 2017 Leaving Cert exams.

Domhnall O'Farrell from Dysart said he was surprised at his results.

"I wasn't really expecting it, I didn't think things had gone that well," he told the Leinster Express afterwards.

A keen athlete, he had cut back on competitive racing for his final year, but still kept running for head space.

"I rowed back on the sport, I ran to clear my head and keep it ticking over. I didn't find the year too stressful, it was manageable," he said.

He plans to study medicine in University College Cork, possibly to become a doctor.

"I haven't a clear idea yet, but I was always interested in sciences, and working with people," said Domhnall, who spent his primary years in Ratheniska NS.

He chose Cork university for its sport facilities.

"I find Dublin is too cramped for sport. Cork has really good facilities right beside the college, I will be able to run beside the river," Domhnall said.

He thanked his friends and his teachers for his support, including his mother Mary who has taught him in Mountrath CS since his first year.

Domhnall has wise advice for the next crop of Leaving Cert students.

"Keep calm, it's not the end of the world, and have people around you to talk to if you have a problem. Don't think it is bigger than it is, I know that's easy for me to say with it behind me and after doing well, but a lot of people I know who kept calm and confident did well, and still enjoyed themselves. I went out at weekends and met my friends. You have to have a balance, don't stay in the house all the time," he said.

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