By Kieran O’Mahony
RYANAIR pilot Brian Coomey is used to delivering new planes as part of his job with the airline, but delivering a baby on the side of a road was a first for the father-of-three.
Brian, who lives in Ahiohill, was on his way to work at Cork Airport last Easter Sunday morning at around 5am, when he was flagged down by a motorist outside the former Hosford’s Garden Centre, near Gaggin in Bandon.
‘It was clear that the man was in distress, so I pulled over and then found out his wife was in labour and about to give birth, and would not make it in time to hospital,’ Brian told The Southern Star. Ironically, Brian is originally from Gaggin.
‘While I’ve watched the birth of my own three children, I didn’t have any experience of delivering a baby, but we were on the phone to Kate from the ambulance services and she kept us calm and gave us detailed instructions on what to do.’
While Brian helped deliver the baby, the father held a torch for light for the roadside birth, and baby Conor Brian was born at around 5.15am.
‘I was delighted for them and I had to ring work and re arrange things, but I went home first and woke my family to tell them I helped deliver a baby on the way to work,’ added Brian.
The proud parents of baby Conor Brian, who weighed 8lbs 12oz, are Elizabeth McCarthy and Humphrey Kearney, who made the dash to the hospital from their home in Union Hall that morning, when Elizabeth began getting pains and they realised the baby was about to be born.
‘Brian was great to stop and help us both, and he was so calm. We will always be grateful to him for what he did,’ said proud father Humphrey.
Speaking from her home in Union Hall, Elizabeth said the whole episode was a bit stressful, but that Conor Brian is doing great, despite his dramatic arrival in West Cork.
‘Without Brian’s help, we definitely wouldn’t have coped and Humphrey had the cop-on to know that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the delivery of the baby on his own,’ said the relieved Mum. ‘Brian came into the car and introduced himself and he told me not to worry as he had been at the birth of his own three children. He was just so calm,’ she told The Southern Star this week.
Elizabeth also wished to thank Dr Jason Van Der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response, who arrived on the scene and helped cut the cord, as well as having sterile equipment and heat packs for the baby.
In a gesture of thanks to their roadside knight, Elizabeth and Humphrey named their baby Conor ‘Brian’, after the pilot.
‘We always had the name Conor picked out, so we said we’d give him a second name in honour of Brian who was so good to us,’ she said.
Brian even took time out on Monday to visit the proud parents and Conor Brian in CUMH and he hopes to meet up with Elizabeth and Humphrey and their family in the coming weeks.