The Daily Wire

Rob Heffernan walks to gold in Moscow, Leaving Cert results and other news . . .

Eoin Burke-Kennedy Wed, Aug 14
 
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  • 09:02
    The moment of truth has arrived for this year's batch of Leaving Cert students. The results will be available in schools from 9am and online from midday. Doubtless, maths and science subjects will grab the headlines. The promise of 25 CAO bonus points has clearly done the trick in terms of increasing participation in higher level maths. Those taking higher level maths rose 17 per cent. Combined with last year's increase this represents a rise of 58 per cent since 2011.
  • 09:12
    Grinning ear to ear Rob Heffernan has just crossed the line to win gold for Ireland in the 50Km walk at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow.
  • 09:20
    By way of a late introduction, I'm Eoin Burke-Kennedy with today's news wire.
  • 09:27
    Ireland's Rob Heffernan takes gold in Moscow
    Ireland's Rob Heffernan takes gold in Moscow
  • 09:34
    A new Irish Times Results HelpDesk is now live here. The helpdesk, staffed by a team of guidance counsellors, will answer queries from students and their parents about their results, or about CAO offers, which are made next Monday morning.
  • 09:37
    An Irish woman being detained in Peru on drug smuggling charges has claimed she was forced to travel to there against her will after being held captive in Spain for a number of days. Read more
  • 09:40
  • 09:45
  • 09:56
    Twitter is awash with good luck messages to this year's Leaving Cert crew. We're still awaiting the emergence of this year's straight-A kid or straight-A kids.
  • 10:08
    After 13 years of hearbreak and near-misses, Heffernan tastes gold. Read a full report
  • 10:19
    It's pretty crude to have your schooling years condensed into a single grade sheet and yet there's no obvious alternative.  Minister Ruairi Quinn said he hopes the results reflect the work and many hours of study that students have committed to over the last few years. “Completion of the Leaving Certificate is the end of a very important phase of our young people’s lives,” he said. “It is the start of a new beginning, filled with new opportunities — not only in further and higher education for the majority — but also in many other fields.”
  • 10:23
  • 11:08
    Wolf Blass is to be "the official wine partner" to Leinster Rugby.  The wine producer has just announced a new sponsorship deal with the team. Chardonnay-drinking Leinster fans, shudder the thought!
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  • 11:24
    Of the 55,572 students who sat this year's Leaving Cert, Mark Berney from Gorey Community School, Co Wexford is reportedly the only student to achieve the maximum score of nine A1s. Congratulations, Mark.

    Apparently, ten other students got eight A1s, and 60 candidates got seven A1s.
  • 11:38
    Amazing footage of a train being struck by a bolt of lightning just outside Toyko. The train was hit as it went over a railway bridge on the Tama River in Noborito. (Be patient, it happens at the end of the clip)
  • 11:40
  • 11:51
    Arguably, the single biggest stumbling block to Ireland's recovery, outside of our debt mountain of course, has been the faltering euro zone economy. The latest official figures, however, suggest Europe's economy is finally turning a corner.   Gross domestic product - the widest measure of economic activity - expanded by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, according to the EU’s statistics agency.

    The expansion followed six consecutive quarters of contraction - the longest recession since the euro was established in 1999. This is, undoubtedly, a good piece of news for Ireland.
  • 11:59
  • 12:08
    Weirdest story of day.  The UK’s first cat DNA database has been created and has already been used in court to help convict a killer. University of Leicester forensic scientists compiled data from 152 cats around the country which they now hope to publish so it can be used in future crime investigations.

    The database was used to demonstrate the likelihood that cat hairs found on the dismembered torso of Hampshire man David Guy belonged to Tinker, a cat owned by main suspect David Hilder. The evidence was used as part of the prosecution case, leading to the successful conviction of Hilder for manslaughter. Dr Jon Wetton, who led the project, said: “This is the first time cat DNA has been used in a criminal trial in the UK. We now hope to publish the database so it can be used in future crime investigations.
  • 12:39
    My colleague, Dan Griffin, has just interviewed the country's brainiest student, Mark Berney of Gorey Community College in Co Wexford. Berney was the only student in the country to achieve a maximum nine A1s.

    Out of boredom, he started studying biology in February, having never studied it before, and achieved a maximum A1 in just 12 weeks.  

    He also apparently had a dream/nightmare that he failed the exam, and was going to have to repeat not just the Leaving Cert but all of secondary school.

    Needless to say, he comfortably achieved the required 500 points to do science in Trinity, his first choice.
  • 13:01
    Nicole Collopy and friend Helena Lawless, Ringsend College students, pose for press photographers with their Leaving cert exam results. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
    Nicole Collopy and friend Helena Lawless, Ringsend College students, pose for press photographers with their Leaving cert exam results. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
  • 13:04
    Ringsend College students Nicole Collopy and Helena Lawless pose with the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn as students receive their Leaving Cert results. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
    Ringsend College students Nicole Collopy and Helena Lawless pose with the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn as students receive their Leaving Cert results. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
  • 13:21
    "When I came into the stadium, it felt like an out of body experience." Read  Ian O'Riordan's report on Rob Heffernan's golden moment here.
  • 13:40
  • 13:54
    The news emanating from Egypt is that dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people have been killed by Egyptian security forces. Security forces today moved in to clear two protest camps in Cairo occupied by supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi. There was no official confirmation of the death toll. Egypt's health ministry says 23 people have been killed, including six policemen, but the Muslim Brotherhood claims hundreds of its supporters have been shot dead.
  • 14:01
    A poster of deposed president Mohamed Morsi lies on a bulldozer around Cairo University and Nahdet Misr Square.
    A poster of deposed president Mohamed Morsi lies on a bulldozer around Cairo University and Nahdet Misr Square.
  • 14:10
    18-year-old Mark Berney, officially the brainiest student in the country, shows his nine A1s
    18-year-old Mark Berney, officially the brainiest student in the country, shows his nine A1s
  • 14:32
  • 15:03
    Michael McDowell has let rip at the Parnell Summer School, lambasting those commentators who claim Ireland is a failed State. He said some commentators “seem to enjoy wallowing in what I have termed as a ‘middle-class self-hatred’ or negativity. It is easy to be critical; it is hard to be constructive, especially during times of economic crisis.”

    The ex-PD leader said “a particularly striking historical nonsense” was the belief by the “post marxist left” that republicanism equated with socialism, and a failure to deliver on socialism was a betrayal of the Republic. “The two ideals are not equivalents” he said.  Read full report.
  • 15:10
    Tributes have been paid to a Sky News cameraman shot dead in Cairo covering clashes between Egyptian security forces and protestors. Mick Deane (61) who was married with two sons, was shot and killed this morning. British prime minister David Cameron said on Twitter: “I am saddened to hear of the death of cameraman Mick Deane, covering Egyptian violence. My thoughts are with his family and SkyNews team.”
  • 15:17
  • 15:18
  • 15:52
    What separates higher apes and humans from the rest of animal kingdom? The breaststroke. Two captive apes, a chimpanzee and orangutan, were separately filmed ploughing through water using a form of breaststroke. Most land mammals swim instinctively by paddling their paws. Scientists believe the peculiar swimming style of humans and apes might be the result of life in the trees.
  • 15:53
  • 16:21
    A transatlantic flight from Britain has made an emergency landing in Dublin after passengers reported the smell of smoke in the cabin. The United Airlines plane was flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to Dulles in Washington when an emergency was reported on board. Dublin Airport tweeted: “United Airways flight diverted into Dublin Airport on route from London Heathrow to Washington has landed safely.”
  • 16:51
    Of the top 10 highest-achieving Leaving Cert students, only one came from Dublin. My colleague [he's from Galway] thinks this is one in the eye for the capital, and, more significantly, proof that the rich, fee-paying schools in Dublin count for squat.

    He is, of course, refusing to look at the rest of the stats, which may or may not prove his point, so comfortable is he that his long-held suspicions have been confirmed.

    Incidentally, of the other nine top ten achieving students four came from Cork, Wexford, Galway, Louth, Clare and Kerry.
  • 16:56
  • 17:04
  • 17:06
  • 17:09
    Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned from his post as Egypt's interim vice president. In his letter of resignation, he said there were peaceful options for ending the country's political crisis.

    At least 95 Egyptians were killed today after security forces moved in on protesters demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Mursi, and the government imposed a state of emergency as violence swept the most populous Arab nation.
  • 17:37
    The New York Times website went down this morning after suffering what the company called "technical difficulties." "We expect to be back up shortly," the Times said in a Twitter post. Fox Business reported that the site had been hacked, suggesting that it was the victim of a denial-of-service attack.
  • 17:44
    Ok that's all for today, folks. We'll be back tomorrow.