There's one born every 30 minutes
A MINI baby boom in one of the country's busiest maternity hospitals set a new record, with a staggering 47 babies born in the space of just 24 hours.
Staff coped with nearly twice as many deliveries as normal over the course of the day.
The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin didn't exactly reach one born every minute - but it was busy enough with two an hour.
The hospital experienced its biggest explosion in births in December. In February they rocketed again to between 42 and 47 births in just 24 hours in February.
A spokesman for the hospital in Dublin's north inner city told the Irish Independent the average birth rate over this period was around 25 babies.
The Rotunda also bucked the national trend which is recording a drop in the birth rate after peaking in 2009 when 76,000 babies were born.
Nationally there were 21,587 births in the first four months of the year, a drop of more than 240 compared to the same period in 2012 when the trend was also downwards. The Rotunda's delivery rate to date this year is slightly up on the same period in 2013, and to the end of July the wards were seeing a 1.5pc increase in babies.
A spokesman for the hospital said that while there had been an increase in babies being delivered in the Rotunda the hospital was being squeezed by financial concerns.
"The hospital staffing and resources have continued to be curtailed since 2009 by the moratorium on recruitment and funding.
"We have no additional beds or theatre facilities as activity increases. We currently have a list of around 3,000 women waiting for a gynaecology out-patient appointment."
The National Maternity Hospital has also been under pressure and discharged 24 mothers on occasions earlier this year, according to information obtained by the Irish Medical News.
Minutes of the February board meeting in Holles Street revealed the early discharges were necessary to create ward space.