Up to 4,000 babies have not been registered because of social distancing restrictions meaning their parents ca not receive the child benefit allowance.

A new law has been passed allowing babies to be registered online for the first time since records began in the mid-19th Century.

Up until now parents have had to visit the local registration office with their new baby.

Aaron Rafferty, a six-week-old from Malahide in Dublin, is the first baby ever to have been registered electronically.

His mother Nuala said "when it came to birth registration, because he had been born premature, I was a little apprehensive about going in."

She continued "So I said to my husband is there anyway we could do it online."

Up to 4,000 babies have not been registered because of social distancing restrictions meaning their parents ca not receive the child benefit allowance.

Up until now parents have had to visit the local registration office with their new baby.

The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said: "Many parents, we've discovered over the past few weeks, have chosen not to register the birth of their children because of the social distancing rules introduced for our good health.

"We believe there may be as many as 4,000 babies not registered so we've moved, in the department, to make it easier for people without having to come into the office".

Registrar General TJ Fleming said the Rafferty's submitted the form one hour after the system had been set up making Aaron a "part of history".

The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said: "Many parents, we've discovered over the past few weeks, have chosen not to register the birth of their children because of the social distancing rules introduced for our good health.

"We believe there may be as many as 4,000 babies not registered so we've moved, in the department, to make it easier for people without having to come into the office".

Information on how to register is now on the HSE website and on gov.ie.

If both parents are in a recognised marriage only one parent can register the birth but if the parents are not married they will both need to sign it.

The form can be emailed to births@welfare.ie, posted to your local Civil Registration Office or to the General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon, F42 VX53.

TJ Fleming says even a photograph of the completed forms will suffice to register a baby.