Storm Ophelia caused havoc throughout the country on Monday, leaving parts of the country without water and electricity.


The storm brought heavy rain and fierce winds with it. Many people were forced to stay inside as the Government warned the country that it was too dangerous to be outside in such extreme weather conditions.


The country had no choice but to wait for the storm to pass. Schools were closed. Offices were left empty. Plans were postponed. However, there was one person who wasn’t letting Storm Ophelia stop them from making a grand entrance.


Sonya Burke gave birth to her baby daughter, Maria, as Storm Ophelia raged on outside her home in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.


The mum had no choice but to deliver her baby at home. With the help of a friend, baby Maria was welcomed into the world at 08:15 am.


The mum said her newborn daughter “stormed into the world”. Baby Maria weighed 6lbs 15oz.



Maria arrived three weeks ahead of schedule. The new mum laughed, saying the timing was something else.


She spoke to Cork’s 96 FM about the experience, “I woke with pains at about 4.15am, and I was passing them off because I had another three weeks to go.”


At first, Sonya didn’t believe she was having contractions, but then the pain started to worsen. She asked her son to call an ambulance and her best friend.


She admitted that the entire experience flew by. It happened so quickly, Sonya had no other option than to deliver her baby at home.


Her dear friend Maria was there for her throughout the entire labour. Sonya praised her friend, “It was surreal, the whole thing. The baby is called after my friend who delivered her. I would say my friend is headed for years of therapy!”



Her 14-year-old son phoned for an ambulance, who safely drove the mum and her new baby to the hospital.


She shared, “The trip to the hospital was a little bit shaky. We did have to stop on the way.” Luckily, they all arrived at the hospital, where she was treated by a great team.


She extended her gratitude to the medical staff, “I have to give credit to the ambulance crew. They were fantastic and, of course, all the staff in Cork University Maternity Hospital have been great.”


Sonya said it was quite a dramatic and overwhelming time, but they are thrilled to have a happy and healthy baby girl.


Huge congratulations to Sonya and her husband Colm.