The Thompson family from Derry scored a hat-trick this week as triplet brothers Jack, Thomas and Robert gathered together to celebrate graduating from Queen’s University.
The non-identical 23-year-olds from Steelstown chose non-identical paths as they carved out career paths at the Belfast university.
Law graduate Robert, who had already previously graduated from Queen’s, borrowed a gown to join his two brothers Jack, graduating in Medicine and Thomas, graduating in Pharmacy.
And all three have already secured employment following their courses. Robert is working in Derry, while former St Columb’s College Head Boy Jack is taking up an oncology position at Belfast’s City Hospital. Their brother Thomas meanwhile is taking up a post in pharmacy also at the City Hospital and has already two publications to his name.
Parents John and Mairead said that they and their other six children were very proud of the boys’ achievements.
“We are very proud of them,” Mr Thompson said. “They have come through primary school together, St Columb’s College together and Queen’s University together. Now they are going their different ways with different subjects.”
Mrs Thompson added: “We are very proud of them. It’s been a very strange year, a year of change with people moving on.
“Our daughter Hannah has just finished primary school and that’s also the end of an era, after 23 years of having children going through primary school. Our son Sam left St Columb’s College this year too after completing his A-Levels. We put seven sons through St Columb’s and with the triplets now that is five through Queen’s.”
In fact, with youngest child, Hannah moving on to Thornhill College, the Thompson family now hold the record for having children at Steelstown Primary School for the longest time without a break.
The other Thompson siblings include Daniel, a chef at Browns Restaurant, and civil servant, David.
The other Queen’s graduates in the family meanwhile are Claire, who is finishing her GP training, and Andrew, who is currently in Bolivia and going for a doctorate in Astrophysics, specialising in looking into other planets where there is the possibility for life to exist.
And it seems like the talented Thompson clan are really spreading their talents out across the world: while barrister and law lecturer Mr Thompson and younger son Sam recently watched the sunrise during the summer solstice at Grianan Fort, at the same time Andrew Thompson was watching the sunset on the winter solstice in the Southern European Atacama Desert Observatory in Chile.