THE first baby of the new year to be born in Ireland was delivered at the Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick as the bells of St Mary’s Cathedral were still ringing in 2013.
Baby Leo Maples weighed 6lbs 10.5oz when he arrived at 12.01am on Tuesday.
His parents Carmel McNamara and Charles Maples who live in West Clare said they were not expecting to see their new bundle of joy so soon as he was not due until next week.
“He wasn’t due until next Tuesday but my waters broke at home at around 2.45pm (on New Year’s Eve) so we came straight into Limerick and got to the hospital around 4.15pm,” explained Carmel, 30, who already has two daughters - Kelly, 9, and Aine, 17 months
Carmel said she named her first son after her father Leo who passed away in January of last year.
Speaking before she left hospital this Tuesday afternoon she joked she would “be broke” after buying copies of all the newspapers which featured photographs of her newborn son .
It was a busy festive period for staff at the Mid Western Regional Hospital where 12 babies which were born at the Hospital on New Year’s Day.
Less than an hour after Baby Leo was born, Baby Amy Farrell-Reddin was delivered.
She weighed 7lbs 1oz when she was born at 1am to the delight of her parents Catherine Farrell, 28, and Anthony Reddin, 32, who are both from Rathkeale.
The couple who already have two other children - Dylan, 9, and Rihanna, 2, - were thrilled with their new arrival who was two days overdue.
“I started getting pains at around 20-to-eight at home and we came in and we were here at around quarter-past-ten and she was born at 1am,” said Catherine who added that the couple’s other children were looking forward to meeting the newest member of the family.
Baby Amy wasn’t the only new year baby to be born to parents from Rathkeale.
Baby Gina Quilligan weighed in at 8lbs 4oz when she arrived three weeks before her due date at 1.23am.
“I didn’t know I was going to have a new year’s baby until I came into the hospital on New Year’s Eve morning and went into labour,” said Gina’s mum, Jean, 35, who added that she and her husband James, 41, are delighted.
“We are really excited, we are over the moon and it is brilliant that she was born on New Years’ Day,” said Jean, who has four other children - John, 12, Emily, 11, Jimmy, 7, and Diana, 3.
Margaret Quigley, assistant director of Mid Western Regional Hospital, said everyone was delighted to have helped deliver the first baby of 2013.
“We were delighted the first baby of 2013 was born here in Limerick. We are a very busy hospital but sometimes miss out on having the first baby of the new year,” she said.