IN what is surely a national record, eight sets of twins began their second-level education this week at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale.
But, with five first-year classes in place to cater for this year’s new intake, the different sets of twins are well scattered, which will no doubt be welcomed by their teachers.
As far as possible, principal Jim Tierney explained, they accommodated the wishes of the students themselves and of their parents.
But nobody was more surprised than Mr Tierney when it hit home that the school would be opening its doors to eight sets of twins.
“We thought first we had four or five sets but then we looked again and found eight,” he said. “It is absolutely unusual. I have never seen or heard of it before. It certainly is unique.”
It helps though that not all the eight sets of twins are identical and that some of them are sister and brother combinations. Although, as one set of twins explained to the Limerick Leader, not being identical is no obstacle to confusion.
“They always do mix us up,” declares David O’Connor of Athea. The red-haired lad apparently resembles his grandfather Jack, but it is his twin who carries his grandfather’s name. But, says David, their old teacher was always calling him Jack.
And while Jack says his first day at school is good, David is adamant: “I would prefer to stay at home.” But Caoimhe and Shona Hickey, from Mountcollins, are almost identical and, says Caoimhe, people are always getting them mixed up. “It is kind of annoying,” she says.
None of the twins was particularly surprised or amazed that eight sets of twins had turned up for the first day at school.
No doubt, they were using all their energy simply to take in the sheer excitement of their first day in their new school.