Kilkenny detective delivers baby as family waits for ambulance

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


 Kilkenny detective delivers baby as family waits for ambulance

Baby Ryan Shane pictured with Detective Garda Shane Elliffe, his parents Andrea and Nadia and brother Alessio

An undercover detective went beyond the call of duty on Friday afternoon when he helped deliver a newborn baby.

Detective Garda Shane Elliffe was on duty and carrying out a search under warrant of a property in the New Building Lane area of the city when he met Andrea Merli who asked him for help.

"There was a search taking place targeting criminal activity in the area when a man approached me looking for help. I went with the man to his home and met his wife who was on the stairs in their hall and in the process of giving birth," said Detective Garda Elliffe.

His wife Nadia was in the advanced stages of labour and her husband had ran down the street to hail a taxi to bring her to St Luke’s Hospital when he met the garda.

“Detective Elliffe went to the property and found a lady in distress on the stairs. The labour was well advanced and Detective Elliffe proceeded to help deliver the baby boy and keep him safe and warm until the paramedics arrived a short time later,” said Superintendent Derek Hughes.

The detective checked the baby's airway and tied the umblical cord while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

Dad, Andrea, was both emotional and excited at the arrival of his son and is full of praise for the Kilkenny detective.

“He was like an angel - I was a bit shocked and scared when I came back and Nadia was on the stairs and the baby was arriving. The garda helped with the delivery and looked after the baby. He  got on the phone with the doctor while we were waiting for the ambulance and kept everything calm. He came to visit us in hospital on Saturday and we have decided to call our son, Ryan Shane after him. He deserves all the best - he is a great guy,” he said.

Mother and son are doing extremely well and returned home from hospital on Monday evening. The couple, who are originally from Rome, moved to Kilkenny in 2015 and have two other children, Beatrice (5) and Alessio (3)