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Thursday 19 October 2017

Baby Maria 'doing well' but gardai 'concerned first and last with the welfare of this mother'

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

GARDAI renewing the appeal for the newborn baby discovered in south Dublin last week say the mother “has nothing to fear” by coming forward.

A press conference was held this afternoon in Clondalkin garda station where officers involved in the case, as well as Rita Byrne from the child and family agency Tusla, appealed for the mother to come forward.

Superintendent Brendan Connolly said the only concern in the investigation at this point is the welfare of the child’s mother.

“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.

Sgt Maeve O Sullivan, Clondalkin Garda Station Child Protection Unit with Rita Byrne, Principal Social Worker at the Child and Family Agency Tusla, and Supt Brendan Connolly, Clondalkin Garda station, pictured with three replica items which they put on display last week. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Sgt Maeve O Sullivan, Clondalkin Garda Station Child Protection Unit with Rita Byrne, Principal Social Worker at the Child and Family Agency Tusla, and Supt Brendan Connolly, Clondalkin Garda station, pictured with three replica items which they put on display last week. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

“The mother should have absolutely no fear of coming to talk to us.”

Sargent Maeve O’Sullivan, from the child protection unit, in Clondalkin said the little girl was “doing well” and remained in the Coombe Hospital.

"I am appealing to the mum to come and see her baby in the Coombe Hospital. I am asking for mum to please contact me personally or any member of Tusla or the medical profession so you can see your daughter."

Gardai are also considering releasing a photo of the baby.

In addition gardaí are also canvassing canvassing the public at Steelstown Road, Rathcoole between 2pm and 4pm today to jog people’s memory in relation to last Friday’s discovery.

Superintendent Connolly added a number of lines of inquiry have been followed but they haven’t to any significant developments.

The child, who has been named Maria by hospital staff, was found at a gate to a field around 3.30pm near Rathcoole, and was wrapped in a blanket and black plastic refuse bag which was in a Marks and Spencers shopping bag.

Officers confirmed the bags are being forensically examined for DNA and finger prints but no results have been obtained yet.

The baby was discovered by a couple who had been driving in the area and had pulled in.

She was suffering from being left out in the cold, however the baby has responded well in care and is expected to make a full recovery from the ordeal.

An interim care order was granted by the courts to facilitate medical care and the child remains in the Coombe hospital.

The Child and Family Agency, Tusla, have been contacting hospitals in an effort to trace the whereabouts of the child’s mother.

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