herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Expecting a new arrival -- the busy airport police officer with a family of 10 under-11s

team effort: Dad says children all help out and he wouldn't change his life for anything

THIS is the busy family with 10 kids under 11 and one now on the way.

Proud mum Edel Maher was stunned to discover she is expecting again.

Dublin dad Paul (36) who works with the Dublin airport police, never imagined that he could have nine sons and one daughter ... and counting.

But Paul, originally from Kimmage, and wife Edel, (37) from Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan, said that they are thrilled to be adding to their growing brood.

"We're expecting number 11 -- Edel is due at the end of May or the beginning of June," Paul said, who is a twin himself.

"When I told my brother he said, 'It's like Groundhog Day with you'.

"Once we got over the initial shock, we were delighted.

"We both come from a big family," he said. "There are five in Edel's family and I had eight at home."



busy

Eoin (11), Cian (9), Darragh (8), Cathal (7), Conor (5), twins Odhran and Oisin (4), Fionn (3), Aisling (2) and six-month-old Cillian all have an array of hobbies to keep them busy including athletics, basketball, Gaelic, swimming and soccer.

"They are all individual in their own way," Paul said.

"Each of them has a different personality."

Parents Paul and Edel said that they emphasise the importance of discipline in the family and all of the children have jobs to help cleaning up.

"We try to get them to do tasks to show them that they have to pull their own weight," he said.

But he admitted that Aisling, who has her own room, tends to get her own way more often than not.

"We have just one girl -- I'm not sure she's a daddy's girl -- she's everyone's girl," Paul said.

"But I feel sorry for whatever man will take her out -- getting through nine brothers and a dad will be tough."

Paul said that he wouldn't change his way of life for the world.

"Maybe if we won the Lotto we would move house, but it's great where we are," he said.

The family made the headlines in Woman's Way and a number of local papers when seven of the boys attended the local school at the same time.

When the twins, Odhran and Oisin, reached school-going age, they joined Eoin, Cian, Darragh, Cathal and Conor in St Joseph's NS.

The one thing the 12 Mahers would love to do is to go on holidays together.

The last time Paul and Edel went away together alone was on their honeymoon, almost 11 years ago.

"I haven't taken much holidays -- to be honest I can't afford to take the time off," he said.

"We've been on some weekend breaks and overnight trips."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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