Inishowen sisters’ babies born with an hour of each other

From left, Sharon, Jack, John and Dan McLaughlin with Ciaran, Patrick, Eileen and Cormac Collins. (1706PG71)
From left, Sharon, Jack, John and Dan McLaughlin with Ciaran, Patrick, Eileen and Cormac Collins. (1706PG71)

When two Clonmany sisters realised they were both expecting babies last September, they had no idea the surprise that was in store for them.

But on Tuesday, June 7 at 7:26pm in Letterkenny General Hospital Sharon McLaughlin gave birth to beautiful baby Jack and at 8.36pm , her sister, Eileen Collins had adorable baby Cormac, just one hour and ten minutes later.

Originally Eileen was due her baby on the 19th June while sister Sharon was expected to give birth on the 13th.

However due to miscalculation, Eileen’s date was brought forward to the 8th June.

But it seems fate was working on the sides of the two Clonmany sisters, who are now living in Malin, as baby Jack was in a rush to meet his cousin and Sharon went into labour six days earlier than expected.

“We’re never thought we’d end up going on the same day. I was nine days over with Dan, my first child, so going early never came into my mind. In fact the Sunday before we went into hospital we were all gathered in Eileen’s house and I said to her ‘imagine this time next week there’ll be a wee baby in the corner’.

“I never thought for a second there’d be two! But it’s great, they’re like twins they even have the same car seats,” said Sharon.

When Eileen went into the hospital last Tuesday morning to give birth to Cormac, who weighed a whopping 9lb 6oz, she didn’t expect to see her sister so soon.

“It all happened so quick. I went into labour one day earlier than was predicted. I texted Sharon to let her know I was going in, and the next thing I knew she was in the bed beside me in the labour ward,” laughed Eileen.

The boys even caused a stir in the hospital, with Eileen saying they were like “celebrities” in the labour ward.

“We were all the talk, all the nurses and doctors were coming to see us and saying how they never came across anything like this before. One doctor said he’d seen sister-in-laws give birth on the same day, but never sisters and never so close together. He was genuinely shocked.”

The double birth has caused much confusion in their extensive family network as well-wishers phoned to congratulate Eileen, but little did they know they had a double celebration on their hands.

“We had people ringing our mother to see how Eileen was doing and they’d no idea I was even in hospital. The families, who live just two miles apart, have always been close, but now they’re set to become even closer.

“From now on it’ll be double birthdays. Our husbands John and Patrick are great mates, and our other sons Dan and Ciaran are also really close there’s only 7 months between them. So no doubt we’ll be spending a lot more time together in the future,” Sharon smiled.