FINE Gael cabinet hopeful Simon Coveney was on top of the world yesterday after the birth of his baby daughter.
The delighted Cork TD confirmed that both his wife Ruth and new daughter Jessica were doing well in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH).
Having endured a marathon two-day election count last weekend, the 38-year-old said Jessica wasn't going to wait for the formation of the new government.
"I got a phone call just after 2pm from Ruth asking me to come home. When I got there she was having contractions," he said.
The Cork South Central TD rushed his wife to CUMH at 3.15pm -- and baby Jessica was born at 4.30pm on Tuesday. She weighed in at a healthy 7lbs and two ounces.
Yesterday, both mother and baby were recovering well in CUMH and are expected to be sent home within the next 48 hours.
It was an election reunion of sorts for Mr Coveney as he shared a coffee at CUMH with Newstalk broadcaster Jonathan Healy.
Mr Healy -- who interviewed Mr Coveney minutes after he was re-elected at Cork City Hall -- was at CUMH celebrating the birth of his second son Matthew.
Mr Healy and his wife, Colette, also have a three-year-old son, Jack.
Jessica is the second baby girl born to Simon and Ruth Coveney, with daughter Beth now 20 months old.
Mr Coveney -- who was first elected to the Dail in 1998 -- retained his Cork South Central seat last Sunday on the 10th count. He polled second in first preference votes behind Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin in the sprawling five-seat constituency.
Mr Coveney is hotly tipped to secure a cabinet or junior ministerial post in any Fine Gael-Labour coalition government.
It was also a baby boomers general election, with new Cork TD Michael McCarthy (Labour) celebrating the birth of a baby son on February 14.
The boy was the second son
born to Michael and Nollag McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy was elected a TD for Cork South West, breaking the decades old dominance of the constituency by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.