FIRST MEETING: Bridie McGrath meeting her new granddaughter Chloe for the first time through the window due to physical distancing restrictions as Chloe’s big brother Joshua looks on.


By Michelle Crean

Their emotional first meeting was one which will go down in the family’s history book as one Killarney grandmother met her newborn granddaughter for the very first time through a glass window yesterday (Thursday).

Bridie McGrath from Ardshanavooley, is thrilled with the latest edition to the McGrath family – but it was also a surreal moment which she’ll never forget – as they had no physical contact due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Baby Chloe McGrath was born at 12.30pm on Saturday last to proud parents Maxine and John McGrath in Cork University Hospital.

However, due to the new restrictions over the pandemic, Bridie’s son John, who works in Liebherr, was only allowed be near his wife as the birth drew closer, and had to wait until Monday to see her and his child again when taking them home. Restrictions meant that big brother Joshua (4) saw his little sister for the first time in the car.

“When we landed at 2.30am on Friday night they only let Maxine in with her bags and I had to go wait in the car for a call,” John from Pinewood Estate told the Killarney Advertiser. “I was left in at 4am and Chloe was born at 12.30pm the next day.”

Maxine said that it was worrying being inside the hospital with the escalating health crisis.

“It was very lonely, but the nurses were very good to be fair. I was in a room with two other beds but they were empty. I was left to my own devices really. They are washing their hands constantly. It was hard for John, he had no time to bond with her as he had to wait to see her again on Monday.”

Bridie added that it was wonderful to see Joshua next to his baby sister for the first time, but wished it could have been face to face.

“It was beautiful to see her. What can you do? It’s just safer to do it this way.”