Super-sized Maher clan welcome 11th child
A SUPER-sized family has declared that the arrival of their 11th child will be their last.
Delighted mother Edel Maher and husband Paul, from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, said they took it as a sign after Sadhbh Bernie arrived on June 16, 2011 -- the date of their 11th wedding anniversary.
"Our 11th child arrived on the day of our 11th wedding anniversary. It is divine intervention saying stop," quipped Paul.
The little girl, who weighed in at 10lbs 2oz at 3.48am on Thursday, will be an only sister for Aisling (3) who, until now, has been surrounded by a band of brothers.
On their first day home with their new arrival, Paul, a Dublin Airport police officer, said they had given her the second name of Bernie after Edel's aunt, who died a few days ago after a brief illness.
"We used to have a little 'return home' routine where the new baby would buy something small for everyone. After a certain number, that went out the window. It became like little Christmas," he joked.
The father said the older children in the family were all very helpful toward their younger siblings. The football-mad brood includes Eoin (12), Cian (10), Darragh (8), Cathal (7), Conor (6), twins Odhran and Oisin (5), Fionn (4), Aisling (3), one-year-old Cillian and newborn Sadhbh.
Each day, the family consumes eight to 10 litres of milk, between two and three loaves of bread and two boxes of cereal. When it comes to the actual mealtimes, the younger children sit at the table while the older siblings -- Eoin, Cian, Darragh -- and their parents stand at the kitchen countertops.
Paul said organisation was key when it came to dealing with their mammoth brood.
"It is all down to routine; we have it nailed down.
"All the breakfast bowls are pre-arranged the night before on the table and all the uniforms are folded neatly.
"If everything is set up, that takes the pressure off," he said.
"There will be eight going to school in September, with Eoin starting secondary school and Fionn beginning 'big school' and he is excited about going on the school bus with his brothers."