The first baby of the new year was born at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin this morning.

Baby Brody McWilliams Brown was born to Jennifer McWilliams at four seconds past midnight.

The National Maternity Hospital said baby Brody was 7lbs 10oz at birth.

The hospital said that Jennifer was diagnosed with Covid-19 on 22 December.

"She alerted the hospital prior to her arrival and all protocols were followed to ensure the safe care of Jennifer and delivery of Brody," said the hospital in a statement.

"Brody surprised us by coming early, it is a fantastic start to the New Year," said Jennifer.

"We cannot believe that he is the first baby born in Ireland in 2021. I would like to thank all the staff at The National Maternity Hospital who have just been brilliant and have taken the best care of both Brody and I despite me having Covid-19."

Master at The National Maternity Hospital, Prof Shane Higgins, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jennifer on the birth of her first baby Brody.

"We would also like to thank her for alerting us to her positive [Covid-19] result prior to coming to the hospital and working with our staff in ensuring a safe outcome for all," said Prof Higgins.

Also among the first born was a baby at Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Karen Clarke Foley and Michael Foley's baby boy arrived this morning at one minute past midnight.

Six babies, all girls, were born at Maternity Hospital Limerick between midnight and 7am, with the first arriving at four minutes past midnight.

Among the new arrivals was Alexandra Wroblewska, born to Weronika and Rafal, who live in Newport, Co Tipperary. Alexandra has one older brother, named Oliver.

Another New Year's Day arrival was Alia, born to Aisling Maher at 6.36am.

Ms Maher, from Castletroy, Limerick, is a milliner and owns a boutique in Adare.

Alia’s dad, Neil O'Driscoll, is a GP in Ennis, Co Clare. Alia has one older brother, Odhran, who is 15 months old.