Then and now: Triplets Lee, Lynsey and Luke Duhig @Picture: Michael Cowhey
THIRTY years ago this Tuesday triplets Luke, Lynsey and Lee Duhig entered the world.
Their mum, Ber, was only 24 and already had three children to look after! She found out she was expecting triplets in the February of 1989.
“I always wanted twins and when I told my husband I was expecting triplets Pa said, 'Sure, don't I always give you more than you ask for?',” laughed Ber, who is from St Mary's Park and Pa is from Garryowen. They now live in Montpelier.
The day she was informed she was carrying three babies was February 10 – her mother’s birthday.
“That was my first time ever having a scan, on the rest of them. It was an X-ray, scans weren't in then. They said there were three little heartbeats and I said to them, 'You mean to tell me I'm having three babies?' said Ber.
Shock was a natural reaction.
“Oh yeah, wondering how you can cope, if they are going to be joined, are they going to be healthy. You'd hear of so much... They were all healthy and perfect,” said Ber, who also had Martin, Elizabeth and Adrian aged seven, five and three.
Luke, Lynsey and Lee were due to be born in July but they came nine weeks early on May 14.
“Luke was 3lbs 11, Lynsey was 3lbs 15 and Lee was 4lbs 5. They were fine weights considering they were so premature. They were in the neonatal unit for about five or six weeks,” said Ber.
After Ber and Pa took them home the triplets never looked back. They got used to camera flashes from an early age as former Limerick Leader photographer Owen South snapped them in the hospital.
There was a big front page splash in the Leader at the time and Owen followed them through their lives.
“He would have done their Christening, their first birthday, when they started school, their Holy Communion, their Confirmation, he did their 21st, he followed them the whole way through,” said Ber. Precious memories that will last a lifetime have been carefully kept by the Duhigs.
The family had a quiet birthday celebration at home in Montpelier this week with a very special cake.
Ber said she is very proud of the triplets as she is of all her children. Are they good to her on Mother’s Day?
“They're very good in fairness, you couldn't wrong them, they are very good to me,” said Ber.
Lynsey and Luke are in college while Lee works with service users in the Daughters of Charity, Lisnagry. Lee has two children and Lynsey has one child. In total, Ber has nine grandchildren so she says she is as busy as ever.
She wouldn’t have it any other way.