Micheal and Micheal Og O Gallachoir with baby Faolan.

Meeting first grandchild through a window

A Meath councillors first view of his newborn grandson could only be through a window – and he still doesn't know when he will get change to hold his very first grandchild.

In the midst of all the hardship and fear over Covid-19, the O Gallachoir family of Drumconrath had a very special reason to celebrate – the birth of a healthy baby boy – Faolán – to Emma and Micheál Gallachoir.

However, the doting grandparents haven't had a chance to meet the little boy, who was born in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

“It is hard not being able to go into him and hold him, but they are all healthy and doing well and that is the most important thing,” says Michael Gallagher, a Sinn Fein member of Meath County Council and Faolán's proud grandad.

Michael and his wife Sheila, and Emma's mother, Mary Dillon have only been able to see the baby through the window of Micheál and Emma's home which is a short distance from theirs.

“This whole situation with the virus is so dangerous, that it is a small price to pay. It is disappointing that we cannot visit him, but it won't last forever and we are looking forward to when we do get to see him.”

Faolán's father, Micheál, explains that they went to the hospital on 13th March – the day after the Taoiseach made the announcement closing all schools,

“By the time we were leaving everything was closing.

“We were told at the hospital to boil wash everything we had been wearing in the hospital and to isolate.

“We cannot have people holding him and the only other person allowed in the house is the public health nurse.

“I am on paternity leave at the moment, but when it is over I can work from home.”

Micheál says their families have been wonderful, leaving meals and shopping for them at the door.

“They come and talk to us through the window. The whole community has been great. I have gone out to the chemists, but I have to boil wash everthing when I come in.”

The family had a scare when Faolán was just 11 days old when he was admitted to hospital as he was a bit chesty.

He was checked out, everything was ok and the entire family are doing well and looking forward to getting together when all all the isolating is over.