Students in Co Clare faced an earlier than usual start to get to their Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle exams due to traffic restrictions around the visit of US President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump is due to visit his hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg today and a massive security operation is in place across parts of the county.

Around 124,000 students began their exams this morning, with English the first subject to be examined.

Kilrush Garda Superintendent John Galvin said: "It is a big day in the lives of young people. 

"The general advice for parents leaving kids to exam centres is: leave a little bit early and leave plenty of time.

"Our colleagues on the checkpoints will adapt a common sense approach to any motorists. They are all aware of the big day it is for these young people."

The principal at a school at Kilmihil said the restrictions will add extra stress on exam students on the first day of the State exams.

Helena Keane of St Michael's Community College said: "We have 32 Leaving Cert and 40 [Junior Cycle] students. Six need to travel from Doonbeg.

"They have to do a detour to get to school. That will add an extra 20 minutes to their day and another 20 in the evening. They are already going to be tired. They are already going to be stressed. 

"But they are young and they are resilient and they bounce back."

MJ Malone, 17, who starts his Leaving Cert at Kilrush Community College was not worried about the possible delays.

"We'll get up a few minutes earlier and do a bit of study and then leave that bit earlier to make sure we are on time, because the worst thing you could do is be late for the exam and that would put extra stress on something that is stressful enough as it is," he said.

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