Police officer praised after dad driving around crying baby passes essential journey check

News

A dad who took his distraught baby on a car trip in a desperate bid to calm them down has recounted the heartwarming moment a sympathetic police officer took pity on him.

The exchange warmed the hearts of a nation this week after Doug Leddin, a marketing manager based in Dublin, took to Twitter to recount being stopped at a Covid-19 travel checkpoint and quizzed about the purpose of his journey.

Mr Leddin was 3.5km from his home when he was pulled over at one of the Republic of Ireland’s Garda-run posts, the Irish Mirror reports.

“Is the purpose of your trip essential?” he was asked, to which Leddin explained he was trying to stop his baby from crying by driving around in the hopes the gentle movement would suit the child.

“‘Oh jaysus, nothing more essential, on ya go,’” the Garda responded as he rushed the young family through.

Leddin assured readers he was still abiding by restrictions while soothing his child, as he was only 3.5km from his home.

The Republic of Ireland is subject to similar tough rules to the UK and in the past 24 hours recorded an additional 55 deaths and 3,498 cases, with 1,850 patients in hospital and 184 in intensive care.

People are required to stay at home except to go to work, education or other essential purposes, and will be permitted to take exercise within 5km of home.

Restrictions also stipulate people can travel for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children.

Whether Mr Leddin’s trip is covered by the exercise or child care exemption is unknown but the interpretation of the rules by the officer proved popular with other parents.

They took to social media to share messages of solidarity with parents who find themselves going on long car journeys to try and calm down their children.

One user wrote: “We’ve all been there and praying for green lights all the way, any stop in movement can result in (tear emojis)”

Another said: “Oh god, I’ve often remembered nights at stupid times driving around to get the baby to stop crying.”

A third added: “I have done that a number of times a few months ago. Thankfully that phase seems to have passed!”