They may be twins, but as Phyllis Lacey and Trish Corr point out, that doesn’t mean they’re identical.
As Trish says: “From the time I got out of the pram, I was completely different to Phyllis.”
Despite being dressed alike as children when growing up on Wolfe Tone Street in the city, the youngest in a family of eight, they had different personalities right from the start.
“Patricia was really outgoing, I was more kept back. ‘You go into school first,’ I’d say, ‘and I’ll go in after you.’ Even though we really did look alike,” Phyllis recalls. “And Patricia would get me into trouble with the teacher. I always got the blame.”
“To put it bluntly, I was the wild one, a little tomboy,” Trish says.
“She was a very religious girl. I would be a tomboy out in the car road and I’d have all my friends all around, and I’d little short britches on me. I had a swing-swong and everybody would be in line to use it but I wouldn’t get off the swing. And I used to charge them a penny to use it!” she laughs.
“I would go and look for Phyllis – and where I’d find Phyllis was that she would be saying some decades of the rosary.”
It’s an interest Phyllis maintains to this day, particularly with her involvement in the Kilkenny Gospel Choir, of which both sisters are members.
“We don’t live in one another’s pockets,” says Phyllis. “Patricia likes to socialise, but Kilkenny Gospel Choir is my life. That is my social life, and I am really happy. I’ve been to Fatima 10 times – I love going on a holy pilgrimage.”
“I haven’t been once in Fatima,” says Trish, although she has been to Lourdes. Her favourite way of socialising is meeting up with her motorbiker friends on a Saturday night in Kyteler’s.
“I love meeting people. I have to have fun. If I haven’t fun, I’ll be in bad form. I’d be very down if I don’t have it,” she says, as Phyllis adds: “Patricia would say to me, ‘Why don’t you come out with my friends?’ and I’d say, ‘No, I’d rather stay home and watch the X Factor and Simon Cowell’.”
The truth about Santa
And then there was the time when Phyllis found out the truth about Santa.
“I believed in Santa until I was 12, but Patricia didn’t,” Phyllis says. “One Christmas, I had all my little money put on the sill of the window, and I was expecting to get this beautiful, big doll – although I didn’t get a doll, I got the best things ever: rosary beads and a prayer book, and that was the beginning of my life, really. But how I found out there was no Santa was that my mother used to come in and take the money, but one time she came in and the money wasn’t there. Patricia was after taking it!
“Patricia said to me, ‘Get a life! There is no such thing. Mammy Roche takes that money on the window.’ Mammy never found out who got the money.”
“When you look back at those times, I was a divil – and I still am,” Trish laughs. “I never changed. Even if I come to be a hundred years of age, I’d never change.”
The sisters remain very close though, and last Sunday night they put on their rendition of Sisters in the Good Old Days event in the Set Theatre. “If I didn’t see Patricia for maybe one day, I’d have to ring her to see what she’s up to. When she used to go out on a Saturday night, I wouldn’t go to bed without knowing what time she was home, and I’d ring her,” Phyllis says. “I couldn’t go to sleep knowing she was out. That’s how close we are.”
They love being as different as chalk and cheese, though.
“I wouldn’t want to be the same,” Phyllis says. “That would be so boring.”