Meathman’s Diary: Leaving Cert tea and sympathy


“You will be grand,” said the mother, pouring me the tea. To have your tea decanted was not a thing with us, we made our own, unless it was a moment of deep crisis or real concern.

It was one of those times.

I looked at the hot milky brew but the comforting aroma of Barry’s did little to soothe the mania-filled butterflies in my stomach.

The moment of truth had arrived, the point of no return, the dark door to the big, bad adult world was about to open, the Leaving Cert results had to be collected.

The mother didn’t say much, she knew I had probably spent more time listening to the Smiths than squishing, more time drawing and coloring in my weekly study chart than bothering to use it as intended.

I’m sure there were love affairs at stake too, luckily none of them were conducted on the platforms of Snapchat or Insta. It didn’t matter now.

My walk to the school grounds was only four minutes, timed perfectly over the previous five years (no TY options for us at the time).

When I got to school, guys had come and gone, straight into cars and left without even opening the envelope. Others huddled in alcoves, gently lifting the corner of envelopes as closed eyes offered silent prayer.

A few of us chose to get out in the field and sit on the grass and open them up.

“I know I did shit, I just know it,” said one boy, an unopened rap sheet in hand but got his retaliation first.

“I heard Kevin Leonard had seven aces, the b*****x,” said another, seeking to dilute his expectations.

“What do you get, what do you get???” went the cries around the circle of support.

“Three Bs, two Cs and a bleeding D.”

“Five B’s, an A’s and a C’s.”

Me? Four honours, two assists and one failure, Irish. The Irishman whose result I knew long before the confirmation. It’s hard to get a pass when you’ve stormed out of the exam after 10 minutes.

In truth, the results were in line with expectations. I had repeated, Irish apart, what I had done in the Mocks. Hindsight tells me that I could have done better. Hindsight also tells me how little it mattered.

This year’s class of 22 will receive their results this Friday and the Journal wishes them success and hopes they get the grades they worked for and the courses or options they want.

You won’t have to walk to school to pick up the results, you can sit up in bed and relax and open them on the online portal and hopefully remember that it’s not the beginning or the end of your world one way or another, it’s just a stopover on the Wild Atlantic Way of Life.

If you’re staying in bed to get your results, be sure to call mom or dad to bring you that hot cup of milk tea and enjoy!


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