David and Cathy Shah, brother and sister
I remember the day David was born. With two sisters already, I was wishing for a little brother, so I was over the moon when David arrived. David and I spent our summer days playing make-believe in our back garden. I really believe David and I were pixies in a past life as we both share a deep connection with nature, especially trees; I would be more likely to be found hugging and talking to trees, and David loves climbing them. Growing up, I loved taking care of him. Nowadays I know I can rely on him for anything. Even though he towers over me, he will always be my ‘little’ brother.
Growing up in a big family there was never a dull moment in my childhood. Cathy was a great big sister to have, always looking after me and making me laugh. We spent a lot of our time making up our own games such as plays and obstacle courses. One of my favourite childhood memories was when we all got to go to Disney World Florida. Even though Cathy was a bit older than me, we had the most fun together. She is my big sister but definitely still a kid at heart. I definitely think you choose your family for a reason. I have a deep connection with Cathy now as we both share very similar outlooks on life and are passionate about helping the world. I look up to Cathy and love her positive outlook on life.
David and Stephen Flynn, brothers
We were always close. As identical twins, we were once one egg that split into two. Mom tells us stories that she used to put us to bed in separate cots and then come later to find the two of us asleep in one cot or else by the door lying on top of one and other.
We get on great. We started our business together and work together everyday. We live across the road from each other, met our partners around the same time, had kids again at the same time; both of us have little daughters. We both feel so fortunate, it’s the most wonderful thing to always have someone who understands you with no effort, someone who always brings the best out in you and doesn’t let you away with anything.
Being a twin is amazing, such a gift, it’s like having your best friend and multiplying it a hundred times if not more. As young kids we just laughed lots and had so much fun. For a short period we tried to fight for our own individuality. We quickly got over it and realised our strongest path was to work together.
When we got different results in our Leaving Cert, we had to go to separate colleges. This was like a divorce for the two of us. It was the first time we met people not as a twin, but independently. Being a twin you learn to bring the best out in each other like no one else, it gives you a feeling that apart we are just one person, but together we’re like five people.
Gina and Adam Harrington, brother and sister
I was five when Adam was born. It was like having a real-life doll and I wanted to put him in my pram and wheel him around. When our parents split, I continued to look after him and cared for him in every way I could.
Adam liked to hide a lot. My earliest memory of this was one time when the whole family were searching top to bottom of the house looking for him everywhere. He was nowhere to be found. Eventually, someone found him fast asleep on the floor in an alcove beside the bed.
I think we get on amazingly well. I really respect and admire him, he is so level headed. Having such a great childhood means we know each other really well emotionally. We are pretty in tune with each other.
I think my sister assumed the role of my second mother as older sisters tend to do. The big problem was that I was stubborn back then; I couldn’t understand that all this attention was love and pushed against it at every opportunity.
I remember being on holidays one year, and Gina woke me up earlier than I would have liked, and I punched her in the back of the head. For the first time I realised I had a physical advantage over my sister who, at five years my senior, held the advantages in verbal conflict and seniority. It was possibly the biggest regret of my young life.
We have a level of understanding and appreciation of each other. We make time for each other and share our stories; we laugh and give each other advice.
Leonor and Aoife Espinosa, mother and daughter
I remember the first time I saw Aoife; this tiny baby looking straight at me with huge eyes. My connection with Aoife has always been strong and deep. We used to spend a lot of time together playing and going for walks.
Once we decided to perform together. We prepared a song: I say a little prayer for you by Aretha Franklin. We decided to wear the same outfit. When we did it, everybody loved it.
We’re almost every day with each other because we work in the same clinic. Aoife is studying acupuncture and I help her class with point location. We spend a lot of time together and it’s very nourishing and rewarding.
We used to play a lot of games together. I had this big blue car which I would drive around in the garden. I remember making ginger bread men and reading books. We used to sing songs in Spanish and English. I remember wanting to be like mum. To have long hair. I was always trying to wear her long dresses, lipstick, perfume and high heels.
Our relationship is amazing. She’s a friend, my soul sister. We’ve established The Healthworks Clinic where we work together in Portmarnock. We do similar activities and courses. Of course, at times we nearly eat each other alive! But to be honest, she makes me laugh like nobody else does.