PART-time Killarney farmer Cormac Williams received an early Christmas present when he checked in on his donkeys recently.
It was early on a Sunday morning when he went to check on the condition of his jenny, who was foaling, but when he reached the field at his Brewsterfield farm he found not one but two healthy foals.
While giving birth in December may be a rare occurrence in itself, the birth of healthy twin foals is quite exceptional, as Cormac explains.
"I understand that around 1.5 percent of births are twins and in just over 10 percent of those cases both foals survive, so I've been very lucky," Cormac says.
Indeed, the psychiatric nurse said he went online to check of similar occurrences and to date this year he could only find two examples; one in Canada and one in Australia. The special twins have since been given names which could just be a prediction for the weeks ahead.
"I've named them Snow and Flake," he reveals.
"They are very healthy, the unseasonal temperatures meant that they were born outside and after a day or two they were scampering around like gazelles," he adds.
Although he largely keeps dry stock at his 35 acre farm, Cormac says he always likes to keep a few donkeys as pets.
"The days of the working donkey are gone but they're great as pets. They're gentle animals and in winter they're great for foraging and keeping down the weeds," he adds.