Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway - Leaving Cert News

The following is an article published in the Irish Independent where students and teachers were interviewed on the opening day of the Leaving Cert 2012.

Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway is 75 years old and it looks like the celebrations will be marked by good Leaving Certificate results, if the first English paper is anything to go by.

Forty-three pupils are sitting the Leaving Cert at the Newtownsmith school and these students were pleased with the opening exam yesterday morning.

Ellen Cassidy (16) from Castle Park said she hoped the paper set the tone for the rest of the exams. “I was very nervous going in but when I read the paper, it was easy. Everything I wanted came up.”

Veronica Gomes (17), from Rahoon, did the same essay as Ellen – titled “When I was 18 I couldn’t wait to get out of town” – and was also pleased to have the first one out of the way.

“There was good choice in the comprehension,” she said.

The Irish Second Level Students Union ( has an online blog and international officer Claire Stone (17) is one of the bloggers.

Pictured above students at Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith - Veronica Gomes, Nicole Sheridan, Lisa Murphy, Patrycja Wedlarska, Ellen Cassidy and Claire Stone - reflect after sitting paper one in the Leaving Certificate English exam.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the paper,” said Claire, who is from Briarhill in the east of the city. “The readings were really nice and I was really interested in them for once. They were nice to read and I enjoyed them.”

She chose the essay titled: “Write a persuasive speech about the importance of literature in people’s lives.”

“It gave you great scope and I read a lot of books so it was really interesting.”

Grace Bruen (19), from Bohermore, was very pleased with the first English paper. “I found it easy. There were good options.

“The comprehension was good and I wrote about Brian O’Driscoll and Google.”

Nicole Sheridan (18), from Annaghdown, was also pleased with the paper.

“I found the reading comprehensions easier than the past exam papers, and the essays were nice choices as well.”

One student who had to go the extra yard for a good result was Patrycja Wedlarska (18), who only started to learn English after her family moved to Ballybrit in Galway from Wroclaw, southwest Poland, four years ago.

“It was easier than the mocks. I was very happy with it. My biggest difficulty learning the language is spelling,” she said.

Lisa Murphy (18), from Crestwood, was also happy with the paper. “There was a lot of selection in the essays.”

Lisa opted to write a story about being inspired by “an inferior rock band howling for fame” and she was also one of the many students preparing for the home economics exam yesterday afternoon.

English teacher and Deputy Principal, Rita Nolan said the paper “seemed fair” and that there was a good response from students exiting the exam.

School principal Mary Sweeney said it was a significant year in the school’s history, and the highlight will come in September when President Michael D Higgins visits to mark the 75th anniversary.

The school, on the banks of the Corrib in the city centre, has 288 pupils, with 34 of them sitting the Junior Cert this year.

Meán Scoil MhuireThe following article from the Irish Independent profiles Leaving Cert students in Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway.