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Thursday 23 February 2017

Jedward a no-show but everyone else sees double at TwinFest

Paddy Clancy

Angie Benhaffaf with her boys at TwinFest in Co Sligo yesterday
Angie Benhaffaf with her boys at TwinFest in Co Sligo yesterday
Aoife and Orla (4) with their dad Colin Stone from Athy, Co Kildare

FORMER conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf could make their first steps with new limbs as early as next year.

Mother Angie has revealed that a specialist US prosthetic doctor who visits Ireland once a year will be examining the 20-month-old boys as soon as next month.

"From there we will plan their prosthetic process," she said yesterday. "It's a slow process because it's quite complicated."

The boys were born in December 2009 and were separated four months later during a 14-hour operation.

They travelled with their mum from Cork for TwinFest, the national festival of twins in Keash, Co Sligo, at the weekend. One hundred twins turned up from all over Ireland.

There were triplets too, and one family of quads.

Jedward -- John and Edward Grimes from Lucan, Co Dublin -- had to opt out, although they had promised to attend. Instead, they were in 'Celebrity Big Brother', which began airing last Thursday on Channel 5.

The oldest twins at the festival were Gerard and Alfie Mulligan, from Dromod, Co Leitrim, who are now in their 90th year. Alfie, who owns Hartigan's and neighbouring O'Dwyer's pubs in Leeson Street, Dublin, said: "We're still only 89 and a half. That's very important."

The youngest set of twins were Jessie and Lexie Doyle, from Coolaney, Co Sligo, who are just 10 weeks old. They were with their eight-year-old twin cousins, Oisin and Caoimhe Teape, from Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The festival raises awareness and funds for The Meningitis Trust to commemorate organiser Patrick Ward's five-month old niece, Katie Garvey, who died of the illness on Valentine's Day in 2007.

This year a donation was also being made to the Benhaffaf's Little Fighters Fund.

Irish Independent

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