‘Angel’ detective halts search to help deliver baby

An undercover detective went beyond the call of duty when he helped deliver a newborn baby.

Baby Ryan Shane with Detective Garda Shane Elliffe, his parents Andrea and Nadia Merli, and three-year-old brother Alessio. Picture: Pat Moore

Detective Garda Shane Elliffe was conducting the search, under warrant, of a property in the New Building Lane area of Kilkenny City when he met a distraught father-to-be.

The man, Andrea Merli, asked him for help.

“There was a search taking place targeting criminal activity in the area when a man approached me,” the officer said.

“I went with the man to his home and met his wife who was on the stairs in their hall and in the process of giving birth,” recalled Detective Garda Elliffe.

New mum Nadia was in the advanced stages of labour last Friday.

Her husband had ran down the street to hail a taxi to bring her to St Luke’s Hospital when he met the garda.

Supt Derek Hughes outlined the incident.

“Detective Elliffe went to the property and found a lady in distress on the stairs.

“The labour was well advanced and Detective Elliffe proceeded to help deliver the baby boy and keep him safe and warm until the paramedics arrived a short time later.

“The detective checked the airway and tied the umbilical cord while waiting for the emergency services to arrive,” the superintendent said.

Andrea, meanwhile, was both emotional and excited at the arrival of his son and full of praise for the detective garda.

“He was like an angel — I was a bit shocked and scared when I came back and Nadia was on the stairs and the baby was arriving,” the new dad said.

“The garda helped with the delivery and looked after the baby.

“He got on the phone with the doctor while we were waiting for the ambulance and kept everything calm.

“He came to visit us in hospital on Saturday and we have decided to call our son, Ryan Shane, after him.

“He deserves all the best — he is a great guy.”

Mother and son, meanwhile, are doing extremely well and returned home from hospital on Monday evening.

The couple, who are originally from Rome, moved to Kilkenny in 2015 and have two other children Beatrice, aged 5 , and Alessio, 3.



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