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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

Mother and baby 'doing well' after childbirth aboard LÉ Niamh

The baby – who is four weeks premature – has been taken to hospital in Italy.

The crew of the LÉ Niamh at work in a rescue operation on Sunday.
The crew of the LÉ Niamh at work in a rescue operation on Sunday.

Updated at 11.50am

A DEFENCE FORCES officer has been giving more information about the birth of a baby on board the LÉ Niamh yesterday.

Mother and baby are both “in good health” Commander Ken Minihan told Newstalk earlier. 

They’ve been taken ashore to Sicily, where they’re receiving medical attention.

The infant was delivered at shortly before 6pm Irish time yesterday afternoon.

Her mother had been taken on board from a Médecins Sans Frontiéres vessel also sent to respond to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean

114 people, including 14 pregnant women, were taken on board from the MSM ship on Monday night for transfer to port.

One of the rescued women went into labour at 4.43pm yesterday, and gave birth to her daughter just over an hour later.

The baby is four weeks premature.

Two Italian doctors, who travelled to the Niamh on board an Italian Coast Guard vessel, have travelled back with her to the port of Trapani.

A Defence Forces spokesperson confirmed that though the LE Niamh is technically sovereign territory, the baby girl’s status is “the same as all other persons rescued” in the search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean.

There is an agreement in place with the Italian government that processing of rescued migrants will be handled by their officials.

The LÉ Niamh replaced the LÉ Eithne in the Mediterranean earlier this month, as part of the EU response to the migrant crisis.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: LÉ Eithne crew ‘not being paid properly’ for Mediterranean mission

Also: Ireland has just sent its second ship to the Mediterranean

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