Tipperary News

Tipp primary school student to tackle the Leaving Cert exam

Tipp primary school student to tackle the Leaving Cert exam
A State Examinations Commission sign on the a door at Beneavin De La Salle College, Finglas, as this year's Leaving Certificate examinations got under way in schools around the country today. Students have been given a choice between exams, accredited grades or both. Picture date: Wednesday June 9, 2021.

A County Tipperary primary school student who last year sat a Junior Cycle maths paper, will this year sit the Leaving Cert maths paper. 

Cara Darmody, aged 12, made headlines last year when she sat the Junior Cycle maths paper to raise funds for children with special needs.

Last year, Cara, then aged just 11, attempted to raise funds for two schools in Tipperary “that so badly needed help to pay for therapy services for children with special needs.”

Cara has two younger brothers, aged five and nine, who are both non-verbal and severely autistic, and has given insights into what life is like at home with her two brothers.


Earlier this year, she became the youngest person to address a Dáil committee, when she told a Joint Committee on Autism Policy that the lack of services for Autistic children “is a crisis and a national disgrace”

According to the Irish Examiner, around 20,000 children in Ireland are waiting for an autism assessment. 

Since January, Cara has travelled to Leinster House once a week with her father Mark to speak with TD’s to advocate for change. This week, the Labour Party will raise a motion re Access to Autism and Disability Assessments and Supports, and the Tipperary primary school student has said she will “keep calling them out until change occurs.”

Cara has clocked up the equivalent of 70 extra school days worth of studying, and plans to sit the Leaving Cert ordinary level maths paper this June.


This year, two new charities will benefit from Cara’s efforts, with Family Carers Ireland (FCI) and AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, joining Cara’s local school Ardfinnan NS and Scoil Chormaic Special School in receiving any money raised by Cara. You can keep up to date with Cara’s journey and donate to her gofundme here

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website Beat102103.com.