Nigerian woman gives birth on Irish naval vessel

A baby girl has been born on board an Irish naval vessel tasked with rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.

The infant, named Destiny, was born Tuesday afternoon after her mother Grace was brought on board the LÉ Niamh four hours earlier.

The mother, from Nigeria, had been among 114 people, including 62 women, 45 men and seven children, earlier transferred from the Médecins Sans Frontiéres vessel the MV Dignity. Fourteen of the women were pregnant.

Four hours after the transfer, Grace went into labour and was assisted by army medics Paul O’Connell and Conor Kilbride.

Baby Destiny, who was four weeks premature, was delivered at 5.46pm after a labour that lasted just over an hour.

A short time later two Italian doctors were embarked from an Italian Coast Guard vessel and both Destiny and her mother were transferred to their vessel before being brought to the Port of Trapani in Sicily.

The baby, who is still receiving postnatal treatment, is said to be doing well today.

On board the LÉ Niamh, Commander Ken Minihan said the Irish medic’s training had “kicked in immediately” after Grace went into labour.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that both mother and baby were in “good health” on departing from his vessel and that Grace had been “very happy” with the medical assistance she had received.

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