College-bound triplets to part for the first time
Triplets who notched up 11 passes in their A-levels between them are preparing to be separated for the first time in their lives as they head off to university.
The Thompsons, Thomas, Robert and Jack, from Londonderry, have gone through nursery school, primary school and were even in the same form class throughout their time at St Columb's College.
Robert, who achieved two As and a B, will now go to Jordanstown to study law, while Thomas will study pharmacy at Queen’s after getting four As.
However despite achieving two A* and two As, their brother Jack has had an anxious weekend, and has yet to secure a university place.
His predicament shows just how tough competition for university places is this year. Jack is keeping his fingers crossed for a result this week.
“I'll take any place I can get,” he said.
“I didn't get any offers so I've had to wait until the results.”
He said he was “definitely surprised” by his grades.
The brothers said it will be strange to be separated but they are looking forward to striking out on their own.
Robert said: “It will be good for us, it will be an experience.
“I'm looking forward to it, no curfew, and having independence.”
Thomas, meanwhile, said: “I'm really looking forward to going away and everything that comes with starting university.
“Even though we are all going to different places, me and Robert have actually applied to stay at the same campus, although different parts and we won’t be in the same dorm or anything.”
Proud parents John and Mairead, who have six other children besides the triplets, said their boys’ absence will be keenly felt.
Mairead said: “It will be like a big hole. I'm not looking forward to that part.
“We are so proud of them, they worked so hard, they were studying at school every day.
“I was saying St Columb's was going to take a restraining order out against them, they were there so much.
The boys' father John added: “We are proud of them. The boys put in the work.”