Saturday 10 December 2016

'This mother could be anywhere' - Gardaí fear 'Baby Alannah' case may never be solved

Cathal McMahon

Published 16/05/2016 | 08:08

The remains of baby Alannah arrive at Redford Cemetery, Greystones, Co Wicklow, yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
The remains of baby Alannah arrive at Redford Cemetery, Greystones, Co Wicklow, yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Garda Technical Bureau examining the pile of recycling where the remains were found

Gardaí fear they may never solve the case of an abandoned baby girl whose body was discovered at a waste recycling plant.

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Publicly officers are still making desperate appeals for information about the child, named Alannah by gardaí, but privately officers have conceded that only one person can bring the investigation to a conclusion.

A senior source said: “The future direction of this investigation is dependent on this child’s mother coming forward.

“Gardaí have made repeated appeals but so far they are still at square one. This mother could be anywhere at this stage.”

Gardaí say that the mother will most likely need medical attention and will “definitely” require psychological support.

Baby Alannah was discovered at the Greenstar recycling plant, near Fassaroe in Bray, Co Wicklow, at around 11am last Wednesday, May 4.

Soft toys, flowers and messages left on baby Alannah’s grave. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Soft toys, flowers and messages left on baby Alannah’s grave. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

One employee came across the body, 10 more were there at the time, while all staff members are understood to be still feeling the effects of the harrowing incident.

Last week a large crowd gathered as she was laid to rest at Redford Cemetery in Greystones.

Superintendent Pat Ward from Bray garda station told Independent.ie that they were making details of the child’s burial public “so the mother knows where her daughter is buried and she knows that she can visit her here”.

“There is still no indication where the baby may have come from,” said Supt Ward. “That facility takes in waste from all over the south and south-east of the country. Any appeal we are making is being made countrywide.”

He appealed to the mother or anyone connected to her who is aware of her identity to contact either the gardaí in Bray on (01) 6665300, the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

“They may not necessarily wish to come to ourselves,” he added.

A helpline for the child and family agency has been set up and can be reached on (076) 6958400.

The post mortem revealed that the child was not deliberately killed and that she was born some weeks earlier than was originally thought.

“There is nothing to suggest deliberate injuries were caused to the baby,' said Supt Ward in a statement.

“It is confirmed that the baby is female and caucasian.

“I am available here at Bray Garda Station to help the mum and dad of this baby girl and if they would contact me or Sergeant Sorcha Fitzpatrick here at Bray Garda Station we will deal with any contact with us discreetly and sensitively,” he said.

He also appealed for anyone connected to the mum and dad, like any friends or family members who may have information, however small, to get in touch.

An incident room has been established at Bray Garda Station and Gardaí are liaising with the Health Service Executive.

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