Sister act is one-in-two-million
AS a way of cutting down on expensive birthday presents it is perhaps ingenious. But no parent could plan that perfectly.
Two sisters beat the odds to become part of an exclusive group of siblings born on the 'extra' day in separate Leap Years -- something that has only a one-in-two-million chance of happening.
Lana (8) and Robyn McKeon (4) from Clonsilla, Dublin, celebrate their birthday today -- officially only their second and first birthdays respectively.
"Mathematically speaking the chances of somebody being born on a Leap Year are one in 1,461, while the chances of it happening to two siblings is one in 2,134,521," said Dr Patrick Murphy from UCD's School of Mathematical Sciences.
This evening both girls will join the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, and 29 other birthday boys and girls born on February 29 for a party at the Mansion House.
"This is the first year it struck me that both my daughters' birthdays fall on a Leap Year. Four years ago I had just given birth to Robyn and I was just going with the flow because I was in mammy mode," said their mother Suzanne yesterday.
"The girls are particularly excited and think this will happen every year from now. It will be a bit of an anti-climax when it all stops and they're back to school on Thursday.
"The girls can't get enough of being the centre of attention."
The mayor hopes to raise the roof of the Mansion House when he opens the doors to his palatial abode to 29 'Leap Year babies' for a birthday party like no other -- not least because he is one himself.
"Tomorrow will be my 11th birthday so personally I'm really looking forward to the celebrations," Mr Montague said. "When I was a child I had some celebration every year but I had a special celebration every four years.
Elsewhere, Beatrice and Molly Cahill may be four years old -- but they'll only get to celebrate their first 'official' birthday today.
Born on February 29, 2008, the twins, from Riverstick in Cork, normally celebrate their birthday on February 28, but this year's party will take place on the correct date.
Their mother, Una, said: "They adore animals so they decided to have a butterfly party theme this year."
Meanwhile, there's good news for women planning to take a leap of faith and propose to their other half -- a new survey shows four out of 10 men would say 'yes' if their partner pops the question.
Today is the one day every four years when traditionally women can turn the tables and propose to the man.
The survey carried out by PopCap Games shows a quarter of Irish people believe that the "man must propose" tradition is outdated or sexist.
In addition, 15pc of men would say 'yes' on the condition nobody found out their partner had proposed.