Teen to forgo Leav­ing Cert hol­i­day to Spain due to pan­demic – and go on stay­ca­tion in­stead

Irish Independent - - News | Coronaviru­s Emergency - Ralph Riegel

A FA­THER has spo­ken of his pride in his 18-year-old son af­ter he opted not to travel to Spain on a fully paid-for Leav­ing Cert hol­i­day be­cause of the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Benny McNulty’s son, Jake (18), de­cided in­stead to take a break with six of his friends in Wex­ford.

How­ever, it has been es­ti­mated that more than 2,000 Leav­ing Cert and first-year col­lege stu­dents will travel over­seas in the next three weeks – some to coun­tries not even on Ire­land’s Green List – de­spite the Govern­ment ad­vice that peo­ple should hol­i­day at home this year.

“Of course, I am proud of him – he’s got his head screwed on straight and de­cided to go on an Ir­ish break with his friends,” the Kil­dare fa­ther-of two said.

“I have to say that not all young peo­ple do have their heads screwed on straight.”

It has been a chal­leng­ing sum­mer in the McNulty home with Jake hav­ing his Leav­ing Cert ex­ams can­celled and his younger brother Conor (15) hav­ing his Ju­nior Cert ex­ams scrapped.

Jake now faces a ner­vous wait un­til Septem­ber to learn his as­sessed grades from his Leav­ing Cert. He is hop­ing to study mu­sic at a Dublin col­lege.

“Jake de­cided that if he couldn’t have a nor­mal hol­i­day out in Spain, he wasn’t go­ing to go,” Mr

Jake now faces a ner­vous wait to learn his as­sessed grades

McNulty said. “In­stead, he is head­ing with his friends to Cur­r­a­cloe in Wex­ford for a few days.

“I do feel very sorry for young peo­ple over ev­ery­thing that has hap­pened this year.

“They’ve had no debs, no Leav­ing Cert fin­ish­ing par­ties, they have missed out on a load of con­certs that they had booked tick­ets for and they were also hop­ing to go to Elec­tric Pic­nic, which is off now as well.”

Mr McNulty said that his son is un­sure whether he will get a re­fund on the Span­ish break, which was due to go ahead later this month.

“I think they are look­ing at the loss of the flights – if their plane takes off, I don’t know if they will get a re­fund.”

Jake now has a con­struc­tion job un­til Septem­ber – and his fa­ther said he was very proud of how Jake ap­proached the en­tire lock­down.

The teenager’s stance was guided by the strong ad­vice re­lat­ing to for­eign travel from both the Govern­ment and health­care chiefs.

Jake and his girlfriend also played their part by stay­ing apart.

“He took it very se­ri­ously – his girlfriend and him­self de­cided they should stay apart in the early part of the lock­down, though they chat­ted on their phones each day.

“He’s a great lad – I’m very proud of him and his brother.”

PHOTO: TONY GAVIN

Proud dad: Benny McNulty and his son Jake, who has can­celled a Leav­ing Cert hol­i­day to Spain in favour of a break in Wex­ford.

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