THE first baby of the new year was born just seconds after the clock chimed 12.
Little Amelie Rose was born in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin at 35 seconds past midnight, making her 2012's first arrival and giving her parents more reason to celebrate than most.
She is the first baby for Catriona and Neil Mitchell, from Churchtown in Dublin. She was due to be born on January 6 but arrived early.
"We're thrilled. We weren't expecting it but it wasn't too early," Catriona said.
Amelie was born by C-section and weighed 7lbs 5oz.
In the south-east, the second baby of the year -- a little girl -- was born at Waterford Regional Hospital at two minutes past midnight to Amy and Gerard Mitchell.
The third New Year's Day baby was born to Jennifer Dowman at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin at 17 minutes past 12. The baby boy, Reese, is mum's sixth son.
In the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin, at 26 minutes into the new year, Elsie Tumulty made her appearance. Like the first baby of the year, she was also due on January 6.
In Kerry, another baby, Sophie Jane O'Donovan, decided she was going to make an early arrival. She was due on January 20 but was born at 12.38am yesterday at Kerry General Hospital, coming in a healthy 6lb 11oz.
"I'm absolutely over the moon with her and delighted that it's all over," said new mum Louise, from Leith West in Tralee, Co Kerry.
At 45 minutes past midnight, Kyle Kennedy was born at St Munchin's Maternity Hospital, Limerick, weighing 11lbs 1oz. His parents, Edel and Jeremy Kennedy, are from Bruff, Co Limerick.
"He was due Christmas Eve but he didn't come until New Year's Day," said Edel.
Cork University Maternity Hospital had a busy night with four babies born.
First to make an appearance was Grace O'Brien, from Carrigaline, born at 2.51am and weighing 6lbs 8oz, to mum Deirdre and dad Andrew.
Next came Edward Michael, born to Victoria O'Herlihy from Blarney at 3.46am, weighing 9lbs 4oz.
Iwona Lorek and David Bogdanski, from Clonakilty, had their baby boy, Tristan, at 4.16am, weighing 7lbs 17oz.
Shortly after, Jean Marie Curtin, from Ballyvolane, and Darren Ryan had a baby girl, Kayleigh, who was born at 4.44am, weighting 6lbs 14oz.
University College Galway's first arrival was a baby girl who came 42 minutes into the new year, while Portiuncula Hospital in Galway saw four babies delivered in the early hours of the morning.
In the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, its first baby of the new year, a little girl, was born at 4.42am.
MOTHER-of-four Dr Rhona Mahony (left) began her 'big challenge' of running our busiest maternity hospital yesterday as she became the first female master of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dublin. But as is the tradition, she still had to knock on the front door to get in.