Tuesday 16 July 2019

White 'Angel Santina' t-shirts worn as tribute to murdered Cork toddler (2) at her removal

Relatives carry the remains of her two year old daughter Santina at her removal in Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Relatives carry the remains of her two year old daughter Santina at her removal in Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
relatives of her two year old daughter Santina at her removal in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Ralph Riegel

SPECIAL tributes were paid to Cork toddler Santina Cawley (2) at her removal with family members donning white 'Angel Santina' T-shirts in honour of the little girl now at the centre of a Garda murder investigation.

Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to the tragic Cork toddler whose death last Friday sparked a Garda murder investigation.

Santina, whose middle name was 'Barbie', was brought by her heartbroken family from O'Connor's Funeral Home at North Gate Bridge in Cork to the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne.

The toddler's mother, Bridget O'Donoghue, escorted the white and gold casket and was supported by her mother and Santina's grandmother, Eileen.

The hearse was flanked by mourners who walked behind it the short distance from North Gate Bridge to St Mary and St Anne's.

There were emotional scenes as the little white casket was escorted into the cathedral where Santina's Mass of the Angels will take place at 11am tomorrow.

Fr Oscar O'Leary OFM will be the chief celebrant of the Mass.

In honour of the little girl, relatives donned white T-shirts emblazoned on the front with her photograph.

On the rear of the T-shirts there was a simple message: 'RIP Angel Santina.'

Special balloons were also brought to the cathedral carrying Santina's image and with slogans including: 'We Love You' and 'RIP'.

Santina is survived by her mother, Bridget, her father, Michael, her siblings Candice, Michael, Patrick and Thomas.

The toddler will be buried at St Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully following Mass of the Angels on Friday.

Gardaí again appealed for public assistance in their murder investigation over Santina's death.

Detectives have taken more than 50 statements from people resident or present at the Elderwood Park flats complex off Boreenmanna Road where Santina was discovered with critical injuries shortly after 5am last Friday.

They are also examining CCTV security camera footage from properties around the area.

However, detectives have again appealed to anyone who has not yet spoken to Gardaí and who may have information to come forward.

Gardaí also urged any motorist, taxi or truck driver who was in the Boreenmanna Road area last Thursday night and Friday morning to contact them, particularly if their vehicle is equipped with a dashcam.

Two properties at the complex were examined by forensic experts as well as two vehicles found parked nearby.

Santina was treated at the scene by paramedics before being rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Tragically, she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gardaí launched a murder investigation on Saturday following a post mortem examination by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

That examination revealed Santina had met a violent death and had sustained multiple injuries.

Detectives have refused to release the details of the post mortem examination for operational reasons.

A woman in her 30s - who is not related to Santina - was arrested on Monday for questioning by Gardaí in relation to the circumstances of the child's death.

She was released without charge on Tuesday evening with a file now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The body of the toddler was released to her family from CUH last Wednesday evening.

Online Editors

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