Three generations of same family born within minutes of each other
Woman (85) welcomes great-great grandchild
It was chaos. Inside one crowded family home yesterday, there was the sound of laughter, chat and babies.
Lots of babies.
Proudly overseeing the happy gathering in Ballyfermot, Dublin, was matriarch Eileen McGuinness (85), who herself has 16 children.
The grandmother was marvelling at the weekend arrival of three generations of boys in her family: a grandson, a great-grandson and a great-great-grandson, born within 30 minutes of each other in the same Dublin hospital.
If that wasn't gob-smacking enough, it emerged none of the expectant mothers knew the other was in the Coombe hospital at the time they were each preparing to give birth.
Eileen, whose husband of 50 years Michael died in 1996, now has a grand total of 69 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and one great-great- grandchild.
First to arrive last Friday night was Logan (8lb 1oz) at 7.28pm, after Eileen's great-granddaughter Lindsey Carey (18) gave birth with boyfriend Robert Dillon (20) present.
Next to appear was Michael (7lb 2oz) at 7.56pm, the son of Eileen's youngest child Anthony McGuinness (42) and his partner Mary Hitchcox (34).
Lastly, five minutes later, at 8.01pm, Calum (7lb 3oz) arrived, a first child for Eileen's grandson Stephen Jess (22) and girlfriend Amy Hoey (22).
"It's mad in here," one of Eileen's daughters Liz told the Irish Independent yesterday.
"It was amazing that none of the girls knew the other was giving birth at the same time. We're all delighted with the results.
"My mam is ecstatic. We told her when we knew the babies were delivered and safe. She's delighted. None of us have stopped since the weekend.
"We knew Mary was going in because she had to be induced but we never knew about the others."
As for Eileen herself, she has begun planning for birthdays already and a triple chistening.
"I always have a full house and I never forget any of the birthdays," she said.
New mother Mary was still taken aback at the slew of new arrivals, saying: "What are the chances? We were all overdue by a few days but I cannot believe this happened.
"I knew the girls were pregnant but I didn't have a clue we were all in labour in the same ward."
Proud mother Amy Hoey knew nothing about the coincidence until the next day. "It's amazing.
"I think we made history. The nurses and doctors didn't know it was going on either so it's a shock to everyone."
As for the youngest mother Lindsey Carey, she was overdue by 11 days anyway. "It was just so shocking. But it's fantastic and we'll have loads of babysitters."
And a good many of these babysitters were on hand yesterday as they crowded into the McGuinness family home to get a snapshot of the three new cousins.