Tuesday 25 June 2019

Ireland’s only quintuplets (13) return to neonatal unit in Dublin’s Rotunda for the first time

Patricia Murphy

Ireland’s only quintuplets today returned to the neonatal ward in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital where they were born more than 13 years ago.

Conor, Cian, Rory, Amy and Dearbhail Cassidy (13) captured the hearts of the nation when they were born in 2001. And today, they were welcomed back to the hospital as teenagers today by the happy midwives and doctors who helped with their high-risk delivery.

The quintuplets from Bridgetown Co. Wexford revealed that they didn’t know how to react to today’s celebratory gathering despite the fact that their remarkable birth once saw them reach national fame and even feature as tiny guests on The Late Late Show.

“It was a bit awkward because we’re not used to the attention,” said Amy Cassidy standing with her siblings.

The teenagers, who ranged in weight between 1lb 6oz to 1lb 11oz at their birth, revealed that the hardest thing about being a quintuplet is having to share everything with one another.

“Sharing everything is the hardest part about being a quin. Me and Dearbhail have to share a room,” said Amy.

From left: Derbhail, Conor, Rory, Amy and Cian Cassidy with their parents Kevin and Veronica, celebrating their fifth birthday at Dublin' s Rotunda Hospital where they were born prematurely at twenty five and a half weeks. Photo: Niall Carson/ PA
From left: Derbhail, Conor, Rory, Amy and Cian Cassidy with their parents Kevin and Veronica, celebrating their fifth birthday at Dublin' s Rotunda Hospital where they were born prematurely at twenty five and a half weeks. Photo: Niall Carson/ PA
Clockwise from left, are, Amy, Conor, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, holding pictures of when they were just born at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Derbhail Cassidy, along with their parents Veronica and Kevin, at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Derbhail Cassidy, along with their parents Veronica and Kevin, at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, from Wexford, at the Rotunda Hospital
2015:03:31 13:24:39: ii Quins Rotunda DE 07
From left to right are, Dearbhail, Rory, Cian, Amy and Conor, Cassidy, from Wexford, with their parents Veronica and Kevin at the Rotunda Hospital

Read more: Offaly family welcomes quadruplets in Dublin’s Rotunda

“Having to share birthdays and stuff is hard. We have just one cake but we don’t fight to blow out the candles,” joked Rory who aspires to be a journalist.

Veronica Cassidy, mum of Ireland’s only quintuplets, described returning to the hospital 13 years later with her teenagers as a fantastic feeling.

“It’s a good feeling actually. It’s not like years ago coming in. It’s great to see everyone who treated me so well and looked after us and my husband Kevin,” she said.

“Life’s not as stressful or hectic anymore. We’re not running around with bottles and nappies or bathing or feeding them.

“My first years with the babies are a distant memory. I don’t remember much about the first few years because everything was so non-stop,” she said.

Read more: Call the male midwife: 'When I walk in the door at 6ft 1in faces freeze'

The quintuplets are now happy and healthy teenagers whose interests range from current affairs, to horse-riding and even Kim Kardashian.

From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Derbhail Cassidy, along with their parents Veronica and Kevin, at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Derbhail Cassidy, along with their parents Veronica and Kevin, at the Rotunda Hospital
Clockwise from left, are, Amy, Conor, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, holding pictures of when they were just born at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, at the Rotunda Hospital
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Dearbhail Cassidy, from Wexford, at the Rotunda Hospital where they meet some of the staff that cared for them, when they were born there thirteen years ago.
From left to right are, Conor, Amy, Cian, Rory, and Derbhail Cassidy, along with their parents Veronica and Kevin, at the Rotunda Hospital

“Conor and Dearbhail are really into horse riding. Rory and Cian are into handball. Amy is into camogie and basketball,” she said.

“Amy’s a big fan of the Kardashians and Rory loves newspapers and wants to be a journalist at some stage.”

Christine McDermott, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Rotunda, spoke about the stressful night the quintuplets were born in 2001.

“I remember it well. I was actually on a night off at home after a break in my night duty and we were on call for the delivery.

“I [cared for] Amy. She was always very lively and I spent the first night trying to stop her pulling out her lines and her monitor leads and her mum said she’s still the same,” Christine joked.

Read more: VIDEO: Baby Kian Bourke is Ireland's first born in 2015 at Dublin's Rotunda Hospital

Last month, Offaly couple Anita and David Kelly welcomed quadruplets - all boys - at the Rotunda hospital.

Wexford's quintuplets said getting along was the recipe for success.

From left: Conor, Cian, Amy, Dearbhail and Rory cut their birthday cake which was sent to them by the Rotunda Hospital in 2008. Photo: Tom Burke
From left: Conor, Cian, Amy, Dearbhail and Rory cut their birthday cake which was sent to them by the Rotunda Hospital in 2008. Photo: Tom Burke

“Try to get on for the sake of your parents and their stress levels,” they joked.

Meanwhile their mum Veronica advised other mothers to make time for themselves no matter what.

“Take as much help as you can possibly get and take as much time for yourself as you can.

“Even ten minutes on your own every few days offers you a bit of head space,” she said.

Read more: Two's Company: What you can expect when pregnant with twins

Clinical Midwife Manager Orla O’Byrne said: “To see the quintuplets moving on and spreading their wings is fantastic."

"I think it’s amazing and you do get great job satisfaction when you see the children you cared for become adults and it’s just fantastic and it's why we do what we do as nurses and midwives,” she said.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Life