Page last updated at 23:11 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 00:11 UK

Six names for six boys and girls

Austin and Nuala Conway
Austin and Nuala Conway are now the parents of sextuplets

The parents of Ireland's first sextuplets have named their four girls and two boys.

Nuala Conway gave birth to her babies 14 weeks early on Friday at the Royal Maternity Hospital Belfast.

She and husband Austin, from Dunamore near Cookstown in County Tyrone, have named them Ursula, Austin, Shannon, Karla, Eoghan and Kerrie.

The children, who weighed between 1lb 7oz (0.65kg) and 2lb 2oz (0.96kg) at birth, remain in intensive care.

They were born by Caesarean section in an operation involving 30 medical staff and took just five minutes.

Doctors said the babies were not conceived through IVF and the babies are "doing well".


It is the first recorded birth of sextuplets in Ireland, and the first in the UK since 1993.

The babies' parents, who are in their 20s, had kept news of the sextuplet pregnancy secret from most of the small rural community where they live.

Friends and neighbours have since showered the couple with their best wishes, while community leaders said Nuala and Austin could expect plenty of support when they eventually bring home their family.

Dunamore priest, Father Pat Hughes, was one of the few who had been let in on the secret. He said the community had prayed for the young family at mass on Sunday.

"We prayed today to thank God for the safe delivery of the sextuplets and we prayed that they would thrive and grow," he said.

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