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Quads can't wait for first day at school

FOR four years they have been a close-knit foursome -- but the first day of school is going to bring huge change for these quadruplets.

Jamie, Johnny, Robbie and Lillie Maher will be wearing the same uniform but won't be in the same classroom. The little quads from Carlow have agreed to be split up when they start "big school" next week.

Parents Mary and John said that it is a momentous day for the family -- Jamie was just 1lb 4oz when he was born, making him the smallest quadruplet ever to survive in Europe.

"They are starting next Wednesday. I can't believe it has come around so quickly, especially the last year," Mary said.

"We have all four uniforms, we have four of everything -- four schoolbags, four pencil cases, four lunchboxes. They all have their own minds but they knew they wanted bags with wheels.

"There is all excitement here -- they have asked me 100 times 'when are we starting big school?' They know their ABCs, the boys can write part of their names and Lillie can write her full name," Mary said.

There will be 46 junior infants starting in the school this year, so they'll be split into two classes. "Two of the lads will go in one class and two in another. They were separated in the creche which was great because they made their own friends," their mum said.