Category: current
Updated: 14/09/17 : 05:53:18

Sligo's Niall is Tops in Junior Cert results with 12 As

Niall O'Donovan pictured with his results and Summerhill College principal Paul Keogh.  Photo: Summerhill College Twitter
Niall O’Donovan (15) from Sligo town became the first pupil in many years to achieve a perfect result in the Junior Cert in Summerhill College.

Principal Paul Keogh described Niall as a “very conscientious, modest young man. It was an extraordinary achievement. He’s absolutely over the moon.”

Niall modestly said he felt he "did fairly well" after getting a whopping 12 As in his Junior Cert.

He was one of only four students in the State to achieve the highest marks possible.

"It was a huge surprise. I wasn't expecting it at all," he told

When it came to studying for the exams, Niall said he kept a balance between school and sport.

"I did a bit [of study] after school but I didn't kill myself. I'm in the local swimming club so I do about eight hours of swimming there each week."


Niall's favourite subjects in school are maths, science and technical graphics. He's still mulling over his future after secondary school but hopes to study physics or maths in college.

At the moment, the 15-year-old is enjoying all the non-academic activities of transition year.

"Transition year is great because you get to do a lot of different projects. I'm really looking forward to getting my mini company going and making a profit. We're still in the brainstorming stages at the moment but it should be a lot of fun," he said.

His father Diarmiud said he was "extremely proud" of his son.

"I always knew he was going to do well. He kept it ticking over throughout the year. He didn't cram everything in at the end," he said.

"I think Niall was more nervous last night ahead of the results than he was during the exams."

A total of four students achieved got 12 top grades this year - despite results for the Junior Certificate examinations showing a significant drop in the number of students achieving top marks.

More than 61,500 students receiving the results of the June exams yesterday are the first to experience changes in the junior cycle experience, including a broader assessment process.

The results showed just four students got 12 As this year, compared to 10 who received 12 As in 2016.

Fifty-four students received 11 As or more in 2017, compared to 147 who received 11 As or higher last year.

Finally, a total of 240 students received top marks in 10 subjects or more this year, compared to 423 in 2016. This is a drop of 43 per cent.