A level results: Donaghadee twins celebrate, then prepare to go separate ways

Former Campbell College pupil Rory Butler, who will take a year out  to focus on his rugby career
Former Campbell College pupil Rory Butler, who will take a year out to focus on his rugby career

There were jubilant scenes in schools across Northern Ireland on Thursday as hundreds of pupils celebrated A-level success.

In east Belfast pupils at Belfast Campbell College celebrated one of its best ever years.

Twins Patrick and Rory Butler, 18, from Donaghadee in Co Down, both excelled but have chosen very different paths which will see them living apart for the first time.

Patrick, who got an A* and two As, intends to study law at Durham University while his brother Rory, who obtained an A and two Bs, has deferred higher education for a year to concentrate on his rugby career.

Patrick joked: “We have never been in the same class as each other so it won’t be too much of a wrench. We have spent the last 18 together so it might be quite nice to get away. I am really happy with my results.”

Rory added: “I will have the house to myself too which will be great.”

Fellow pupil Patrick Osborne achieved four A* grades in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry and has been accepted into University College London to study mechanical engineering.

He said: “Last night I wasn’t too nervous but when I woke up it hit me all at once.

“I looked online and saw that I had got into UCL and I was just over the moon. I am really excited.

“London is one of the biggest cities in the world, I can’t wait.”

Meanwhile, Conor Johnston, 18, from Castlereagh will be setting off for Cambridge to study law at Corpus Christi College.

“It was tough and it was hard work,” he said. “I thought English had gone badly but in fact I did well and got an A*.

“You can just never tell.

“I was nervous because I did think it was going to be pretty hit and miss whether I would get the grades.

“Thankfully I did.”

On the other side of town, at Dominican College in north Belfast, pupils – who surpassed their own expectations – embraced and congratulated each other. The all girls school was among the best performers in Belfast.

Head girl Julie Toal, 18, was delighted with her four A* grades in maths, chemistry, biology and music.

She said: “I could not actually believe the grades when I saw them but I am not going to contest them. It is a big relief.

“I am going to university and got into the course I wanted.”

Julie has been accepted into Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to study law with politics and hopes to become a barrister some day.