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20th Jul 2023

12 year old who sat Leaving Cert maths shares her experience

Ellen Fitzpatrick

A 12-year-old primary school student who became the youngest person to ever sit the Leaving Cert has shared an update about her experience.

Tipperary native Cara Darmody sat the Leaving Cert maths paper to raise awareness and funds for the lengthy waiting lists for those with disabilities.

Ahead of sitting Maths Paper 1, Cara’s school Ardfinnan National School held a tea and coffee morning in support of her fundraiser, and wrote about it in her weekly column in The Nationalist.

“It really hit me that this was really going to be tough, but my parents were brilliant and kept me so calm and focused,” she wrote.

Describing the feeling in her stomach as “unreal”, the paper arrived at Ardfinnan NS via garda car and she sat it there.

“The one thing that kept me calm was thinking about the thousands and thousands of children who desperately need help right now,” she shared.

“I fought tooth and nail for every single mark. What I lacked in knowledge, I definitely made up for in pure grit and determination.”

Last year, Cara held a meeting with Taoiseach Micheal Martin for over an hour, speaking of the difficulties she and her family have faced, RTE reports.

Explaining how her two younger brothers Neil and John have autism, only Neil has received services while John has not and her family have already seen differences between the two boys.

Cara has asked the former Taoiseach to treat her family’s situation as if “the house is on fire”.

Cara made headlines recently after she sat the Junior Certificate Maths exam as a way of raising awareness of the situation her family and many others in Ireland are in before sitting the Leaving Cert paper this year.