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Special delivery Mum gives birth to baby girl named Cara in car park of Letterfrack Garda station

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Garda Eric Carney of Clifden garda station with Peter and Kelly Gannon and their baby daughter, Cara, and son Cathal (22 months). Photo: Hany Marzouk

Garda Eric Carney of Clifden garda station with Peter and Kelly Gannon and their baby daughter, Cara, and son Cathal (22 months). Photo: Hany Marzouk

Garda Eric Carney of Clifden garda station with Peter and Kelly Gannon and their baby daughter, Cara, and son Cathal (22 months). Photo: Hany Marzouk

A garda had an unusual start to his night shift in Connemara late last week when he came across a couple in some distress.

Garda Eric Carney was passing an unmanned Garda ­station at Letterfrack, Co ­Galway, on Thursday on when he ­spotted a parked car.

Peter Gannon had been on his way to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar with his wife Kelly, when he had been forced to pull in.

“I stopped to check if everything was OK,” Garda Carney recalled yesterday.

“And there was a poor man on the phone to ambulance control.

“I was told the ambulance coming from Swinford, Co Mayo, would be 50 minutes.

“Peter then got a paramedic on the phone, who was trying to give him instructions, but he couldn’t hear anything in the wind. So I took the phone and held it, while he followed the paramedic’s advice, and the two of us delivered the baby.”

The garda took a lace from dad Peter’s shoe to tie around the baby’s umbilical cord, and Kelly’s sister-in-law Noeleen arrived with fresh towels.

“I have four kids myself so it’s not something new to me, and I am trained in first aid at work,” he said.

Speaking on her way home from hospital yesterday, Kelly Gannon described it as “all very quick”.

Both she and Peter are already parents of 22-month-old Cathal. They live near Clifden town where her husband works with State community organisation Pobal.

The couple’s second child was overdue by three days when Kelly went to check in at the hospital in Castlebar last Thursday afternoon.

“There was no sign of labour and I was told to go home and they would book me in to be induced the following week,” she said.

“I started to feel a bit funny around 3pm that same day.”

The couple were a little delayed leaving the house as they arranged care for little Cathal and ensured that the toddler settled.

“We were on the road at 6.15pm and at 6.20pm my waters broke. And that’s when we called 999,” Kelly said.

“We pulled in at Letterfrack garda station car park, but there was no one about.

“We were just so lucky that Garda Carney saw the car lights.”

When the ambulance arrived, mother and baby – who weighed in at 7lb 9 oz – were transferred to Castlebar.

Yesterday, a tired but happy Kelly said, “We had picked Cara’s name a couple of weeks before… but I never thought she’d be born in a car.”

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