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Baby business is booming in 2011

Maternity hospitals around the country have had a busier than normal start to the new year.

Many of the country's maternity wards delivered more babies during the first 24 hours of 2011 than during the same period last year.

Hospitals in Drogheda, Cork, Kerry and Mayo all experienced a busy 24 hours during the first day of the new year.

The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin has also said that it was busier than ever.

More than 9,700 babies were born at Holles Street National Maternity Hospital during December of 2010, a marked increase on the almost 9,200 babies that were born there during the same month in 2009.

This is a 5pc increase and is a trend that is expected to apply over the full year when the complete 2010 figures are released.

The first Irish baby of the new year was born at just six minutes past midnight on New Year's Day.

Sophia McCarthy was delivered in Limerick Regional Hospital to parents Ann McCarthy and Guy Copolla.

Sophia, who weighed 7lb 10oz, was two days overdue and is her mother's forth child.

One of the country's most dramatic new year's births happened to a well known circus family, who run Circus Gerbola, in their four-wheel drive.

Tara Gerbola (36) and husband Michael (43) were rushing to hospital when their daughter Isabelle arrived at 3.13am on New Year's Day.

The couple were travelling along the M3 motorway near Clonee in Co Meath from their home in Navan at the time.

After the birth, they managed to flag down a taxi and were brought to Blanchardstown Hospital in Dublin where doctors cut the umbilical cord.

Mother and baby were later transferred to the Coombe Women and Infant's Hospital in Dublin where yesterday they were both in good health.

Another baby who arrived on New Year's Day at the Coombe appears to have been born under a lucky star.

Aaron Carry will forever have a certain symmetry to his birth date having come in to the world at 1.11am on January 1, 2011.

Irish Independent