LITTLE James Leahy can thank the long arm of the law for reaching out to help bring him into the world.
The bouncing baby boy was born in the front seat of his parent's Renault Megane outside the garda station in Cahir, Co Tipperary, on Wednesday night, after his mother Breda Leahy (35) went into labour en route to the South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel.
And the pharmacy assistant from Newtown, Donohill, Co Tipperary, is hailing the three gardai who assisted in his birth as heroes. Garda Louise Hickey and fellow officers Garda Jerry Canty and Garda Kieran Donovan all went beyond the call of duty when they rushed to the couple's assistance as Breda's truck-driver husband Adrian (42) delivered the baby, she said.
"We couldn't get over it. It was really exciting but there was no fainting," Gda Hickey told the Irish Independent.
"It all happened so quickly but it was the best day I've had on the force," Gda Hickey said.
Mrs Leahy said she was surprised at how fast James made his entry into the world.
He was due on Thursday and when her waters broke around 10.30pm on Wednesday she thought they would have plenty of time. But as they approached Cahir –about nine miles away from Clonmel – Mrs Leahy was already in labour and she knew from experience after having Brendan (6) and Ciara (3) that she wouldn't get to the hospital in time.
"I didn't have time to think. I didn't even have time to put the seat back. But he is perfect.
"I'm very lucky. I feel so grateful to the gardai and the paramedics. They were all fantastic," she said.