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Dad delivers baby in car after tunnel dash drama

A DUBLIN dad who helped his wife deliver their baby on the roadside after a mad dash through the Port Tunnel has today told of his nerves and excitement.

Joanne Black woke her husband Paul at 7.10am yesterday morning telling him that baby number four was on the way.

And despite being in the car at their Skerries home by 7.20am, their daughter couldn't wait to get to Holles Street before making her dramatic appearance into the world.

"We got Joanne's mum around, she doesn't live far away, to mind the other three, and we got on the road as quick as we could," Paul told the Herald. "I drove down the M1 and the traffic was fairly bad so I was using the hard shoulder most of the way.

"It was one of those times when you wish you would get stopped by a garda and get an escort in, but it didn't happen today," he laughed.

"We flew through the Port Tunnel and I rang 999 on the way, and they put me through to North Strand fire station.


"They asked if we thought we might make it to the station, but Joanne said 'no', she knew the baby was on the way," he added.

But the drama didn't end there. Reaching the end of the Port Tunnel Paul's electronic tag didn't work and the barrier would not lift.

"I explained to the guy that Joanne was having a baby and he let us through, and then I pulled over into the central median and flagged down a passing garda car," said Paul.

Joanne could feel the baby's head coming, and barely had time to undress before the little girl popped out into Paul's arms.

"By the time the garda got back from the car with some medical supplies she was already born and the fire brigade arrived moments later," he explained.

"They had blankets to keep Joanne and the baby warm until they got us to Holles Street, and they cut the umbilical cord," Paul added.

Now getting over the shock, Paul and Joanne are relishing parenthood for the fourth time.

"Our last baby Evan , who is one-and-a-half, arrived after just three minutes labour, so we had an idea this one would be close," said Paul.

"It is always a joy being at the birth of your child, but to be the first one to hold the baby, as it is actually born, is extra special," he added.

Mother and baby, who as yet has to be named, are doing well in the care of Holles Street staff, and siblings Robert (12), Anna (3), and Evan (18 months) can't wait to see their sister.