Kieran Patrick Gibbons entered the world at 11 seconds past midnight at University Maternity Hospital, Limerick, weighing in at 8lbs 3oz.
Baby Kieran’s delighted mother Jennifer O’Neill, said the labour took almost 48 hours.
“It started at 1am on Wednesday morning and it finished up at 11 seconds past midnight,” Jennifer said after enjoying well- deserved tea and toast.
“He was due on New Year’s Day, so he kept to that.”
Jennifer, from Dooradoyle in Limerick City, said she was “feeling good”.
She added proud father Mark Gibbons had “gone home to have a rest”.
“We’re thrilled, absolutely delighted,” said Jennifer, who is a practicing pharmacy technician at Robert’s Pharmacy on O’Connell St, Limerick.
In all, six babies were born in the first five hours of 2016 at the Limerick hospital, including baby Nora Shoer, at eight minutes past midnight, whose mother Emma Jane hails from Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
Bridget McCormack, assistant director of midwifery at University Maternity Hospital Limerick, said: “It is a special day.
“Most days here are great days but it is really lovely for the first New Year’s baby to be born in our hospital.”
Just behind Kieran Gibbons for the title of first born in the country in 2016 was Gabriella Doncova, who entered the world at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin’s Holles Street.
The little girl may have been 10 seconds behind Kieran, at 21 seconds past midnight, but she was ahead in the size stakes, weighing in at 8lbs 14oz.
Her delighted father, Adonais Miranda, who is originally from Brazil, said he did not care about the race for the year’s first-born, but was just delighted to have a beautiful baby girl with his Lithuanian partner, Greta Doncova.
“Both Greta and Gabriella are doing very well,” he said. “Gabriella is very good. She does not do much crying.”
He said the nurses said his new daughter looks more like him than Greta.
“I hope she changes to her mum,” he added.
The couple, who met in Gorey, where they now live, “have spread the news around the world already”, Adonais said.
“I was raised by my grandparents so they are very happy that now they have another great granddaughter,” he said.
One of the next to be born was a baby girl Saoirse, at 8lbs 11oz, whose mum Sinead Boyle from Tuam gave birth in Galway University Hospital at 56 seconds past midnight.
Meanwhile, at 12.03am, baby Zac was born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin to Leanne Byrne and Keith Caprani tipping the scales at almost 10lbs.
The first infant to be born at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, a little girl, Hannah, who entered the world at 12.14am.
Her parents, Michelle and Kehinde Adeoye, live in Dublin with Hannah’s two older sisters and older brother. She was the first of six babies born at the hospital between midnight and 5am.
The first in Cork University Maternity Hospital was a little boy born at 12.13am, and two more boys and one girl had emerged by 11am.
While many hospitals had their first deliveries in or around midnight, in others the babies decided to take their time.
In Sligo University Hospital baby Welsandt, whose parents have not yet settled on a first name, was the hospital’s first of 2016 but did not arrive until 4am.