Meet baby Maria - gardaí issue third appeal to mother of infant
This is baby 'Maria', the tiny infant abandoned on a rural road on the outskirts of Dublin nearly two weeks ago.
Gardaí issued the picture last night in the hope that her mother might come forward after seeing the little tot looking healthy and sleeping peacefully.
In their third public appeal for the mother to make contact with them, gardaí revealed that they had followed up several calls from the public but had not yet identified the woman.
Officers investigating the discovery of the baby girl near Rathcoole, Co Dublin, on Friday, May 8 have again stressed that the mother has nothing to fear and that they are anxious to help her.
Baby Maria was swaddled in a fleece blanket wrapped in a bin liner inside a Marks & Spencer carrier bag when she was found on the side of a road.
The infant was rescued by a motorist who pulled into a gate on Steelestown Lane at around 3.30pm on what was a wet afternoon.
Doctors believe baby Maria was between 24 and 36 hours old when she was abandoned and the chance arrival of the motorist saved her life.
The baby was suffering from the cold and could have died from exposure - there was more than 13mm of rainfall recorded that day and temperatures dropped to just 6C.
Gardaí and the family and childcare agency Tusla took the step of issuing the picture in a fresh bid to encourage the mother to come forward.
Child protection officer Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan, who is leading the investigation at Clondalkin garda station, said they wanted the mother to see her girl. She stressed that the mother had nothing be afraid of and that they wanted her to be reunited with her child.
Gardaí have assured the woman that the matter "will be dealt with compassionately and sensitively and with the utmost discretion".
Tusla has also offered whatever support the mother may need including medical aid and assured her that she will not be forced to take the baby back.
The agency says that it wants the mother to have a say in the child's future regarding adoption or fostering if she does not want to keep the baby.
Sgt O'Sullivan said: "We are releasing this photograph so Mum can see her little baby girl and we would ask Mum to please contact us. It has been 12 days since the discovery of the baby and we wish to thank the public for their assistance."
Anyone with information can contact Clondalkin garda station on 01-6667600, or Tusla on 01-6206387.