Northern Ireland

Twin Fest double trouble at Keash

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Media captionTwin Fest provided an opportunity for parents and twins to meet and share stories

You could have been forgiven for thinking that you had double vision if you were in County Sligo this weekend.

Twins, triplets and quadruplets from all over Ireland flocked to Twin Fest in the village of Keash, many were dressed in matching outfits.

The youngest festival-goers Aaron and Adam Duffy were just 12 days old.

The brothers lay sleeping as people made a fuss around them.

Their parents, Fergal and Treasa, revealed it was their sons' first outing and that even at under a fortnight old their different personalities were starting to emerge.

"He is very chilled out," said Treasa pointing at Aaron, "and he (Adam) has no patience - he's like his father".

Although twins often like to mark out their own identity, many insist they have a bond that can last a lifetime.

Henry and Declan Law, 44, drive the same type and colour of car, carry the same model of phone and still share many interests.

Henry from Kilrea, County Londonderry, even claimed they shared telepathic experiences.

"If he is tired, I am tired. If he is sick, I will be sick - that sort of thing," he said.

'Total mayhem'

The vast majority of twins at the event were children and some parents said they had already seen evidence of that special relationship.

Caroline Doherty was wheeling her daughters Cara and Eva through the festival in their double buggy and they appeared to be enjoying each other's company.

"When they are sitting playing they laugh," said Caroline who had made the journey to Keash from Strabane in County Tyrone.

"You go up the stairs and you hear the laughs and giggles downstairs.

"They are so funny - so comical."

For some people one sibling of exactly the same age is just the start.

Image caption The event raises money for the charity ACT for Meningitis

The 11-year-old Morris quadruplets from Mollassey in Kilkenny were at Twin Fest. And they were happy to admit that life is never quiet with three girls and a boy.

"It's total mayhem to say the least," said their mother, Mary.

"What is brilliant fun is when they get on. What is not so good is when they don't get on.

"But like all brothers and sisters they fight and then they stick together when it's needed."

Twin Fest provided an opportunity for parents and twins to meet and share stories and experiences.

It also had all the traditional trappings of a family day, out with funfair games, stalls and even a talent contest called Twins Got Talent.


The event, now in its fourth year, raises money for the charity ACT for Meningitis.

"My niece passed away from meningitis in 2007 and we had the idea for a twins night," said Patrick Ward the event organiser.

"Then we said let's go all out and have a festival.

"Originally it was just to be a one-off but it grew and grew."

Despite being held at the end of August, the people attending Twin Fest did need raincoats - which were of course often seen in matching pairs.

While not all the twins looked or dressed the same, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who you were talking to.

And there were twins who insisted that there are advantages to being your own sibling's lookalike.

"It is great for playing pranks," said Brendan Frayne, who along with his brother, Cillian, stars in the Sky One comedy programme Moone Boy.

"It has its downsides because people mix you up - but it is fun overall."

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