Tipperary man receives Leaving Cert results 30 years after leaving school early

Patrick Hackett

Patrick Hackett from Clonmel returned to education two years ago and was delighted when he received his Leaving Cert results this week

Patrick Hackett from Clonmel received his Leaving Certificate results this week, more than 30 years after leaving secondary school in his early teens.

Patrick returned to education two years ago, enrolling in a Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) course in the Central Technical Institute, Clonmel (CTI Clonmel) and went on to sit his Leaving Certificate exams last May.

After receiving his results, Patrick said “I decided to go back to education because I knew that my level of education has held me back at different points throughout my life and I had been turned down for many jobs.

“I decided that I wanted to take control, so I returned all these years later to sit the Leaving Cert.

“Getting my results today is one of the most important achievements of my life. I’m delighted with my results and looking forward to the future.

“This is only the beginning for me. In September, I’m going to be starting a year-long course of Applied Social Studies in the Mall College, Clonmel.”

Patrick is just one of 445,000 people aged 25 to 64 who have never completed upper secondary-level education.

AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation has launched a new website this week for the One Step Up Information and Referral Service which helps adults like Patrick throughout Ireland discover more about the education and training options available to them.

The service includes a freephone number (1800 303 669) and an information booklet, as well as the new website,

The website features information on courses, funding supports, a calendar of educational information events and videos from adult learners, sharing their experience of returning to learning.

For more Tipperary news read Appeal to help Tipperary woman finish dream home following husband's death