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Irish gran is 'too ill to visit quintuplets'

THE mother of an Irishwoman whose Australian partner gave birth to quintuplets this year has been too ill to visit them, it has emerged.

Irish-born Rosemary Nolan (22) and Queensland native Melissa Keevers (28) came into the public eye last year when they revealed that they were the first same-sex couple to be expecting quintuplets without the help of IVF.

This week they spoke about the struggles they faced raising six young children -- their two-year-old daughter Lily and 10-month old babies Noah, Charlie, Evie, Eireann and Abby -- and revealed that Rosemary's mother had not been able to visit due to an illness.

Rosemary admitted that it was very hard not seeing her mum this year, when the presenter of A Current View asked her about her family.

"Rosemary's mum is sick in Ireland and hasn't seen the kids," the presenter announced.

Rosemary's parents are from two well-known and respected families in Waterford and they have so far been very shy of publicity.

Her father, Paul Nolan said earlier this year that the pregnancy had been a big shock to them. "They already have one child and they decided to have another, and little did they know they would end up with five," he said.

Rosemary had previously revealed that it had been more difficult to tell her parents that she was gay than to tell them Melissa was pregnant, although they have always been very supportive of her.

"We travelled back to Ireland a few days after the insemination and I was so nervous," the former pupil of St Angela's Secondary School and Yeats College recalled.

When Rosemary's mum noticed how much Melissa was eating, the pair knew that they had to tell them Melissa was pregnant.

"When I told Dad I was gay, he took it pretty well at the time, but did make a comment that he wouldn't have any grandchildren. So I proved him wrong," said Rosemary.

hnews@herald.ie