THERE were tears of happiness and disappointment in equal measure today as almost 59,000 young people opened their leaving certificate results.
This year saw a 3pc increase in students sitting the exam in contrast to last year, with a total of 7,639 receiving at least one H1.
Five students scored eight H1s in the exam and 235 students achieved six or more H1s.
Opening her leaving cert results was a bitter-sweet moment for Young Offenders star Demi Isaac Oviawe as she reflected on the opportunities her late father never got to enjoy.
"I can picture my dad doing backflips," she said of her dad who passed away when she was just 15. "He was the person who taught me that education is not a luxury.
My dad wasn't able to finish school. His own father had passed away when he was young which meant my dad had to become the breadwinner. Anyone who came from what he came from would really appreciate what I have."
The Mallow teen, who plays Linda in the hit BBC show, added that her mother would have also been very proud of her results. She urged young people to make the most of their education adding:
"There is no reason for a young person not to take education on board. If there's an opportunity there you should grab it with both hands."
She advised those who are unhappy with their results not to be disillusioned.
"Take the negative and make something of it," she said.
Demi has fond memories of her time at Davis College Mallow and expressed her gratitude to one teacher who fuelled her ambitions to become a tv star.
"There wasn't a part for me in the panto in first year but I got the job of helping people with their lines backstage which I was really happy about," she said.
"I was backstage singing the songs and repeating back the lines when Ms Richter spotted me and said "someday everyone is going to know your name."
She told me that I was going to make it big and that I would be on television. There were tears of laughter running down my face. I just told her she was a crazy lazy.
In a school assembly after the Young Offenders aired she reminded of that day and how she had been right all along."
The 18-year-old urged people not to let points define them.
"There are worse things in life. Not doing well in your leaving cert doesn't mean you should stay at home, wallowing in your own misery.
There are so many PLC courses out there. Points don't define you. They don't determine how smart you are but if you sit at home and do nothing you are only proving people right."
She said that anyone disappointed with their results should take it on the chin like the Young Offenders Conor and Jock.
"My character in the show is very intelligent so she would have probably got 500 points. Now that she's having a child she will want to do as well as possible to give them a better life. The boys-Conor and Jock-, on the other hand, would have got 90 and been thrilled-thinking the score was out of 100!"
Demi has lots to look forward to after being appointed this year's Culture Night Ambassador which takes place on September 20.