Stephen Byrne I never opened my Leaving Cert results when I got

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

first_img Short URL 59,365 Views 22 Comments Jun 8th 2018, 3:08 PM By Adam Daly Stephen Byrne: ‘I never opened my Leaving Cert results when I got them, I ran home and put them in a shredder’ RTÉ presenter Stephen Byrne is currently resitting his Leaving Cert exams as part of a new documentary. Share12 Tweet Email2 A still of Stephen with his parents from his upcoming documentary. Image: Stephen Byrne Image: Stephen Byrne BACK IN AUGUST 2009, Stephen Byrne had just started his career in RTÉ as a presenter when he ran home with his Leaving Certificate results and put them in a shredder.He never read them. Byrne didn’t want to see how he had done. He says now that he had a really difficult time during his Leaving Cert, balancing a new job with study and coming to terms with his sexuality.”[Working at RTE] was everything I wanted. I was a YouTuber before that but it was a big decision for my parents to allow me to work because they were very much focused on academia.”Also I was dealing with so much in the sense that being in RTÉ, being in school, being on a football team, I hadn’t accepted my sexuality and I was in a relationship with a girl at that time as well. So that was weighing heavy on me.”The Leaving Cert became secondary to everything else and a very negative weight on my shoulders so I just always felt that I had to go back.”Byrne is best known for presenting TwoTube on RTÉ 2 and for his radio show on RTÉ 2FM every Saturday and Sunday.Byrne is currently resitting his Leaving Cert and has reordered a copy of his results from 2009, which he plans to open alongside his new results this August as part of the documentary he is making about the experience.Resitting the Leaving Cert was always something that Stephen had planned to do but never knew when the time would be right.”I went to RTÉ and said, ‘look, I’m willing to do this to take a look at the system from the inside to see how much pressure we put on young people.”’When the project got the green light Stephen began night classes but had to return to his local school – which he had left when he felt he was unable to come out – for the supplementary parts of the exams.”Any projects and orals were done back in my old school, Clonkeen College in Deansgrange, so I was always among students.”It’s funny when you go back and integrate yourself. You slowly regress back to who you were and start to worry about whether people like you or not or whether you’re cool.”I left that school because I felt like I couldn’t really come out at that time.”When I said that to the students this year they couldn’t understand it but any classroom I’ve been in has been progressive which is both exciting but at the same time fuels a multitude of jealousy.” A still of Stephen with his parents from his upcoming documentary. Sunday 10 Jun 2018, 8:00 PM Stephen continued to work on RTÉ 2FM while studying this year but says that it took a toll on his mental health.”Right after I finished my mocks I flew to LA to cover the Oscars so there has been that level of juggling all year round. February alone, I think I had 20 flights for work.”So there were tough periods of time that really wore me out and exhausted me and you see in the documentary that it did take its toll. Around April I hit a low point, which now in hindsight I’m actually delighted about because it will probably be a lot more relatable for students.”I’m not afraid to be open about mental health issues, about my own anxiety and struggles with that.”Stephen says the experience has been transformative but he hopes the documentary will highlight the pressures the system puts on young people.”Everyone in the country has gone through it, it’s one of the most pressurised situations you’ll experience, not just as a teenager but in your life.”It has helped me come to terms with things that happened to him as a teenager that he never realised I did.Stephen says that resitting the Leaving Cert has given him a huge admiration for the young people of Ireland.”Modern young people, to the strength of so many of them they just get up and keep going, the conversations they’re having about mental health and how open a lot of them are about their feelings of who they are or what they want to be.”The documentary is set to be released on RTÉ  in the autumn.  Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more