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Saturday 1 October 2016

Gardaí banking on forensic tests to help find Maria's mother

Sam Griffin and Tom Brady

Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30

Sergeant Maeve O’Sullivan, of the Child Protection Unit, speaks to the media
Sergeant Maeve O’Sullivan, of the Child Protection Unit, speaks to the media

Gardaí investigating the discovery of a newborn baby girl on a Dublin roadside hope forensic examinations of the bags she was left in may provide a breakthrough in the case.

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Officers from Clondalkin garda station, along with the child and family agency Tusla, renewed their appeal for the baby's mother to come forward.

It is now over a week since the baby, named Maria, was discovered on Steelstown Road in Rathcoole, south Dublin.

Superintendent Brendan Connolly said the mother "has absolutely nothing to fear by coming forward".

"This is not a criminal investigation in the strictest sense of our investigation. We are concerned first and last with the welfare of this mother," he said.

He added that the main focus of the investigation was that the mother comes forward so she can receive the appropriate care.

"We just want to ensure the mum is OK, that she receives any psychological or medical help that she requires and that we can help her to move forward and to help her with her baby to move forward."

He said a number of "lines of inquiry" have been followed after members of the public contacted gardaí, but he said none had led to any developments in the case.

Superintendent Connolly also revealed the Marks and Spencer bag and black refuse sack the baby was found in are being forensically examined for fingerprints and DNA samples.

"They have to be dried at a very precise temperature and then tests have to be carried out," he said adding it is unknown when the results will be obtained.

A bar-code on the bag is also being examined.

Gardaí held a leaflet inquiry at the scene of the discovery as well yesterday to canvass the public in an effort to jog people's memories, while CCTV is also being probed.

Rita Byrne, Tusla's principal social worker, said the baby "is doing very well" and remains in the Coombe Hospital.

An interim care order was granted by the courts to facilitate the child's medical care. The authorities have decided not to release a photo of the girl but will reconsider this next week.

Meanwhile, a 14-year-old girl who gave birth to her second child has been moved from Holles Street to Cork University Hospital at the request of her family.

Gardaí are concerned the girl, who is from a Roma family, could leave the hospital and a care order has been granted to Tusla.

Due to her age, this is regarded as statutory rape and gardaí are examining the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.

Irish Independent

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