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Twins boost junior roll in the ’Bridge

Freyah and Emmet Grant, Shane and Amy Myles, Amy and Harry Chaplin and Danila and Danita Okybanjo, all twins, at their first day at Sixmilebridge National School. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

IT was a case of two by four starting in junior infants in St Finnachta’s National School, Sixmilebridge on Wednesday morning.

Four sets of twins, Amy and Harry Chaplin from Cappa; Amy and Shane Myles from Fana Glas; Freyah and Emmet Grant from the Broadford Road and Danita and Danila Okybanjo, Mount Ievers are now part of school life.
All the children are four or “four and a bit” as Amy Myles put it but Danita and Danila are the only identical twins among the group.
School principal, Dick O’Connell, said it is very unique to have this amount of twins in one year.
“We have 70 children starting school today between three classes. We have three other sets of twins in the school, so certainly it is not the norm to have so many twins. We realised in June that we’d have four sets of twins starting,” he said.
Like all children starting school this week, there were mixed emotions amongst the twins also, with episodes of tears, hints of smiles and plenty of calls for mammies to come back; all of which the class teachers and school principal took in their stride as part and parcel of the first day at school.
Little Harry Chaplin was upbeat about going to school and said he really wanted to play with the sand. His sister, Amy, was somewhat shier and wasn’t so sure what to make of school yet. Their mother, Valerie, added that there had been great excitement all week in the house with the twins getting ready for school.
“Harry is delighted now that he’s here too but Amy is slightly shy now but I know she’ll come around,” she said.
Amy Myles was sure that she “loves going to school”. And asked why, she promptly said, “I get to do new things and see new books. I’ll tell the teacher about my own books too. I like books and pictures,” she explained.
Their mother, Cora, is a dab hand at dealing with first-day nerves, with her son, Jamie, having started secondary school in Tulla this week and her daughter, Leanne, in sixth class also in Sixmilebridge National School.
“It takes a lot of organisation to get out in time in the morning but we made it. It will get easier as time goes on. They’ve been really happy about starting school and I know they’ll be grand,” she said.
Emmet Grant was keen on playing with new friends too, as well as with tractors.
“I’m going to play with one toy tractor. My grandad has a tractor and it’s blue,” he smiled. His sister, Freyah, said she will read lots of books. “I love reading books, fairy books.”
Mum, Una, was very proud of children on their first day at school.
“Like all children, they have their moments but they have been great about going to school. They love books and having stories read to them, as well as drawing, so I think they will love school. It’s a big day for us all,” she remarked.
Identical twins, Danita and Danila, didn’t feel like talking and were feeling a bit lonesome but seemed much happier once they were sitting in their classroom.


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