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Parents' joy at New Year arrivals

IT was a case of 14 days late but right on time for the New Year for baby Sophie Grace.

The newborn from Dublin was one of the first babies born in 2013 but arrived two weeks after her due date.

For parents Jennifer and Joe Walsh, from Strand Road in Baldoyle, the waiting was over at 17 minutes past midnight on January 1 when Sophie came into the world.

She weighed 8lbs 3oz when she was born at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin.

It was a double celebration for the family as the birth came on the anniversary of the couple's wedding.

Jennifer said little Sophie has been dubbed "a diva".

The honour of being the first baby born in the New Year went to Leo Maples, who arrived over a week early at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, weighing 6lbs 10.5oz.

Overjoyed parents Carmel McNamara and Charles Maples, from Kilmihil in Clare, were not expecting the birth until next week but Leo arrived at 12.01am yesterday.

Carmel (30), who has two daughters, named her first son after her dad, who passed away last January.

Two minutes after Leo's birth, Christine Casey and Kieran Hodnett from Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, welcomed daughter Lexi at Cork University Hospital.

The couple already have a son Matti (3) and a daughter Izzi, who is almost two.

Deirdre and William Lyons welcomed little Emma who was born at 2.15am weighing 6lbs 3oz at The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin

In Kerry, baby Jack Houlihan was born at Kerry General Hospital at 12.29am. He kept his parents Kathleen and Dermot, from Tralee, waiting just over three days.