Eight sets of twins start in first year of same school in Limerick

The 16 students are among 125 students starting secondary school at Coláiste Íde agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale

The eight sets of twins who completed their first day of secondary school at Coláiste Íde agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, yesterday. Pictured are: Noelle and Michelle Curtin; Micah and Ryan O’Connell; Jamie and Gearóid Browne; Orla and Maeve Quirke; Jack and David O’Connor; Caoimhe and Shona Hickey; Christopher and Chloe Lane; and Luke and Holly Scannell. Photograph: Don Moloney/Press 22

The eight sets of twins who completed their first day of secondary school at Coláiste Íde agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, yesterday. Pictured are: Noelle and Michelle Curtin; Micah and Ryan O’Connell; Jamie and Gearóid Browne; Orla and Maeve Quirke; Jack and David O’Connor; Caoimhe and Shona Hickey; Christopher and Chloe Lane; and Luke and Holly Scannell. Photograph: Don Moloney/Press 22

Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 01:08

There will be plenty of double takes at one secondary school in Co Limerick, where eight sets of twins have joined the new intake of first-year students.

The 16 students at Coláiste Íde 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 special collection of twins, not all of whom are identical.

There are also two sets of brother and sisters.

“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 and some twins can look quite different and dress slightly different, so once you get to know the students it’s easy to tell them apart.”

Identical twins Caoimhe and Shona Hickey (12) are among the unique group who started in first year this week.

“Everybody mixes us up. We are identical looking but we like different things,” Caoimhe said. “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.

“I’m a small bit taller than Shona so I think people will be able to tell us apart.”

Different teams

Twin brothers Jack and David O’Connor (12) do not have to worry about any mix-up. Not only are the brothers non-identical but they support different football teams, Jack said.

“We have always been in the same class at school and it’s great being a twin as you always have someone to play with, but we don’t look one bit alike,” Jack added.

“We also support different teams. I’m a Man United fan and David supports Arsenal.”

Some 650 students attend Coláiste Íde agus Iosef, which opened in 2011 following the amalgamation of three schools in the area.

The west Limerick town borders three counties and draws students from north Kerry and north Cork as well as Co Limerick.