Birth rates increased for the first time last year since the financial crash, suggesting Ireland may be on course for a post-lockdown baby boom.
In 2021, there were 59,874 babies born in hospitals and maternity units, which is an increase of 3,000 on 2020 figures.
Speaking to Newstalk, Sociologist and Research fellow at NUIG Dr Jo Murphy Lawless said the increase may be a result of the pandemic.
"All the considerations of, 'well you know I've got this job now, and we are just about to get the mortgage, and we are going to do this... and that' - that kind of programmed way of life was just taken apart by Covid, and we got to think about things in a different way," Dr Murphy explained.
According to Robert Vard, lockdown accelerated plans to start a family for him and his wife.
"We were thinking of kids down the line," Mr Vard explained.
"Then when lockdown happened, and we were both working from home, it kind of made us have those conversations."
Although there has been an increase in the number of births, the figure is still below the last peak in 2009 when there were 75,554 births registered.