Saturday 3 December 2016

'You're not in any trouble' - appeal to mother of 'Maria' to come forward

Published 11/05/2015 | 12:06

Gardai have today shown replicas of the blanket and bags that were used to wrap the naked newborn baby who was abandoned on the Dublin Kildare border last Friday afternoon.

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The light brown coloured fleece blanket from a Primark store was used to wrap the baby along with a small blue cloth, and the baby was then wrapped in a black plastic bin liner and placed within a paper Marks and Spencer shopping bag.

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. 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. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Primark blanket, M&S bag, and bin liner similar to ones found with abandoned baby from Friday
Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan, Superintendent Brendan Connolly and Rita Byrne, Principal Social Worker with the Child and Family Agency Tusla

The baby, which has now been named Maria by social workers and staff caring for her at the Coombe Hospital, is now reported to be doing well and stable.

At a press conference at Clondalkin garda station, Superintendent Brendan Connolly said the items were similar to those found with the baby girl.

"We have had some help from the public but we appeal for anyone who has any more information to come forward," he added.

Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan of the Child Protection Unit, and Rita Bryne, Prinicpal social worker with the child and family agency Tusla, also appealed for the mother to make herself known because of obvious concerns for her welfare.

"Our hope is that mom will come forward and contact us," said Ms Byrne.

"We are very concerned for the mother's welfare. She may need medical treatment and we will deal with her sensitively," echoed Sgt O'Sullivan.

“Sergeant Maeve O’Sullivan of the Child Protection Unit here in Clondalkin and her staff are available at any time. Anyone, or indeed any family member or friends, wishing to speak with Sergeant O’Sullivan will be dealt with with the utmost discretion.”

The newborn was between 24-36 hours old when she was found by a couple last Friday afternoon on Steelstown Road in Rathcoole.

It is understood that the driver who discovered the baby on Steelstown Road pulled into a side road off the Dublin to Naas road at the back of the Blackchurch Inn and heard the baby crying.

Superintendent Brendan Connolly from Clondalkin garda station also renewed his appeal today for the mother to come forward because there are concerns for her welfare.

He stressed that the mother has nothing to fear and the matter will be dealt with with compassion and sensitivity.

"The baby was discovered by a young couple who were driving on the road and pulled into the gateway and heard the child whimpering," he told the media.

The baby was found on the Steelstown Lane near Rathcoole at 3.30pm on Friday.

Gardai confirmed that the child is Caucasian.

The child and family agency Tusla said that the baby would only remain in hospital until she is well enough to leave.

“She will then be placed with a foster family, probably in the coming days,” a Tusla spokeswoman said.

“From our perspective, we would appeal for the girl’s mother to come forward because she needs help and also to have a say in the future of her child."

“The mother will not be forced into taking her back, and she will not be judged or pressurised, but she can have a say in the child’s future with regard to fostering or adoption,” she added.

Superintendent Connolly said gardai will deal with the case with the "utmost sensitivity and care for the mother and child".

He refused to speculate when asked if 'Maria' had been born in a hospital or through a home birth.

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