Friday 24 February 2017

Quadruplets charged up for first day of junior infants

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Carlow quadruplets Lillie, Jamie, Johnny and Robbie Maher, who will start junior infants at Ballon National School next week
Carlow quadruplets Lillie, Jamie, Johnny and Robbie Maher, who will start junior infants at Ballon National School next week

STARTING one junior infant at school requires time and money.

When you multiply that by four, you need military precision and extremely deep pockets.

The country's most famous quadruplets went on a shopping outing in Carlow with their mother Mary Maher this week to pick out their new school uniforms.

And there wasn't much change from €1,000.

Mary and her husband, John, are already deep in preparatory mode for the massive milestone as Lillie, Robbie, Johnny and Jamie set their sights on Ballon National School next week.

Yesterday, Mary fitted the clothes on the children, and dad John took the stabilisers off their bicycles as he told the foursome that they were now ready for "big school".

But it was their mother shedding tears when she saw them in their new school clothes.

"It is brilliant to see them growing up but I do feel a little sad that the house will be so quiet during the day with them gone," she said.

"Their cousin, Sean Dempsey, is starting school in Kildavin next week too."

Mary bought all of the children's clothes except their runners and school tracksuits in Dunnes Stores.

She spent most on footwear -- €57 each -- with the second dearest item the school tracksuit, which must be bought in Carlow department store Shaw's. This comes in at €36.95 per child.

The shopping list for all the items came to almost €900 -- and that is before the children receive their book bill in school next week.

Junior infants are also usually charged €40 per child for insurance and photocopying on top of their books.

"The principal is very considerate because he knows we have four of them starting at once so he is going to try and help us with a rental scheme or give a discount," Mary said.

Irish Independent

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