Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 13:27 UK

Sextuplet parents promised help

Nuala Conway
Nuala Conway is now a mother of six children

The parents of Ireland's first ever sextuplets have been promised plenty of support when they return home to County Tyrone.

Nuala Conway gave birth to four girls and two boys in the space of five minutes at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast on Friday.

Mrs Conway and her husband, Austin, live near Cookstown. The babies were conceived naturally, without IVF.

Councillor Sean Clarke said everyone was very happy for the couple.

"I would say it is the only topic of conversation around here today," he said.

"Everyone would wish them all the very best at this time and for the future. It's a great occasion, but they are going to have to deal with a life-changing situation.


Everyone is over the moon and is glad to hear everything is going so well

Father Pat Hughes

"They will have great family and community support."

The babies were delivered by Caesarean section and were 14 weeks premature. They weighed between 1lb 7oz and 2lb 2oz and are now in intensive care.

Thirty medical staff were involved in the deliveries which took place between 1119 and 1124 BST on Friday.

The hospital said it would not be releasing any updated information about the babies' condition on the request of the family.

RVH
The children were born in the Royal hospital

Local priest Fr Pat Hughes said the news of the births had delighted everybody.

"Everyone is over the moon and is glad to hear everything is going so well," he said.

"The couple come from very well known and respected large family circles in the area.

"They will get great support from everyone when they come home. But it is the talk of the parish today. Everyone is over the moon."

The birth of sextuplets is rare across the world, occurring in about one out of 4.5m pregnancies.

It was the first recorded birth of sextuplets on the island of Ireland, and the first in the UK since 1993.

Previously the largest multiple birth in Northern Ireland was quintuplets, who were also born in County Tyrone, in 2002.



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