Double take as eight sets of twins join same school
There will be plenty of double takes at one secondary school, where eight sets of twins have joined the new intake of first-year students.
The 16 students at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale, were among the 125 new students who completed their first day of secondary school yesterday.
Three sets of male twins and three sets of girls make up the collection of twins, not all of whom are identical.
"It is certainly a most unique situation. We have twins in other classes at the school but to have eight sets in the one year is a first," said school principal Jim Tierney.
"We don't have a policy to separate twins if they want to be in the same class, it is entirely their own choice. The teachers don't mind at all - once you get to know the students it's easy to tell them apart."
While the number of twins being born has increased in recent decades, the chance of twins is still relatively low. Latest figures show that 1,307 sets of twins were born in Ireland in 2011, a year when there were 74,033 births overall.
Twelve-year-old identical twins Caoimhe and Shona Hickey are among the group who started in first year this week.
"Everybody mixes us up. We are identical looking but we like different things. I like Maths but Shona doesn't. We are close, and I think the best thing about being a twin is that you are never by yourself," said Caoimhe.
Twin brothers Jack and David O'Connor don't have to worry about any mix up. Not only are the brothers non-identical, they support different football teams.
Jack (12) said: "I'm a Man United fan and David supports Arsenal."