So, leaving cert physics is done and dusted for one more year (unless you're correcting) and from talking to students earlier and reading posts on the google groups page, there seems to be a consensus that despite the additional choice this year, it was quite a challenging paper.
I've only looked through it briefly myself, but wouldn't argue too much with that opinion. Every question in section A required a graph, which follows a pattern from recent years but could have come as a shock for any student depending on older papers for preparation. And whereas there is plenty of accessible material in section B, the devil is in the detail and a few (very well prepared) students pointed out to me that there were one or two awkward sections within otherwise fine questions: the capacitors in parallel in question 12, for example, or drawing a ray diagram to show the refraction of sound in question 14.
But then again, it is meant to be testing, and in a way its only half time: the manner in which the marking scheme is put together will be very important (as always).
With that in mind, the IoP have, for years, presented a commentary on the paper to the SEC - sharing as much as possible the collective wisdom of physic teachers with respect to the paper, and hopefully drawing the attention of the examiners to issues that might be problematic, before the become problematic. In normal times, that wisdom would be collected over tea and sandwiches and maybe even a pint or two but that's not going to be possible this year, so comments are being gathered by email.
I you want to share your thoughts, you can do so by emailing Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org, before Thursday at 5pm (that's tomorrow as I write - so that our voices can be heard before marking schemes are finalised)
One last thought: what a joy to see each and every section of a question labelled as part (i), (ii) etc!