Mother who had baby at roadside garage returns to thank staff

Co Meath woman gave birth in car on way to hospital

Francesca Corrigan with baby Annabelle and Stephen Reid from the farm shop in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Francesca Corrigan with baby Annabelle and Stephen Reid from the farm shop in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson


A mother who gave birth to her baby girl in a car outside a garage and a farm supply shop in Ashbourne, Co Meath last week, dropped in to say thank you to staff on Friday.

Francesca Corrigan was on her way to hospital when now 10-day-old baby Annabelle decided to make her appearance four days before her due date.

“Everyone who helped was brilliant and I want to thank them all,” Francesca said, as she brought her daughter in to the staff in to see staff at King’s Gala garage and Ashbourne Farm and Equestrian Supplies.

The baby’s arrival caught her mother, father Robert and big brother Logan (2) by surprise.

“My friend Helena Kane was driving me from Ratoath to Holles street hospital where Robert was going to meet us,” Francesca said.

“The contractions were coming fast and on the Ratoath road to the N2, I said to Helena, I think the baby’s head is coming.”

Helena pulled into the car park beside the two businesses and they called out for help just as the head was born.

A local woman who had been filling her car with fuel came over to help “and she was so calm and relaxed”, Francesca said.

Stephen Reid from the Farm shop went to help.

“They were both screaming for help and beeping the horn. I ran out to them,” he said.

“I was the first one there and then I got throws and cushions from my shop for her.”

The ambulance service, on the car’s Bluetooth system, told everyone what to do while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Stephen said he “took a shoelace from a runner and it was used to tie the umbilical cord”.

“I wish baby Annabelle and her mum Francesca all the best. We always encourage people to ‘shop local’ so we did our best for them that day! It was lovely to see them again.”

The staff in the Gala garage were also on hand and provided foam wrap to keep the newborn warm while other staff gave Logan ice-cream and distracted him during the birth.

Garage manager Jerry Brady praised their quick thinking and presented Francesca with two hampers and a voucher to mark the occasion on Friday.

“This is a good news story. No one hesitated when they saw that this woman needed help, they downed tools and went to help. It reminds us of the good that there is in people. It was lovely to see them come in to us,” Jerry said.

Francesca thanked them and Stephen for their help and said next week she is meeting up with the woman who was getting fuel and who came to help her too.