Monday 18 December 2017

Baby girl's body found in waste at recycling centre

Gardaí appeal for mother of newborn to come forward for help

Robin Schiller and Allison Bray

Gardaí are investigating whether the remains of a newborn girl, found in a recycling centre, originated from waste collected in either Co Limerick or north Dublin.

Last night, gardaí issued a nationwide appeal for the mother of the baby to come forward, saying her well-being was their "main focus".

Early indications are that the baby was full-term and that there was no foul play involved in her death. A post mortem will determine whether or not the infant was stillborn.

The baby's body was discovered at about 11am yesterday by a worker at the Greenstar recycling plant at the Fassaroe Industrial Estate in Bray, Co Wicklow.

Speaking on Newstalk's Pat Kenny show this morning, Superintendent Pat Ward of Bray garda station said "this is the first time to my knowledge that this has happened in my district".

"We wish to stress that we are making enquiries on the basis that the baby could be from anywhere in the country. We are not narrowing down our field of investigation to any particular area. The distressed mother could have been travelling anywhere around the country.

Garda forensic officers examine the site at the Greenstar recycling facility in Bray, Co Wicklow where the baby was found Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Garda forensic officers examine the site at the Greenstar recycling facility in Bray, Co Wicklow where the baby was found Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
The Greenstar recycling facility in Bray, Co Wicklow Photo: Tony Gavin
A garda car leaves the Greenstar recycling facility in Fassaroe, Bray, Co Wicklow Photo: Tony Gavin

"We believe that this was a very distressing ordeal for the mum and we want to make sure that she is getting all of the help that she needs. Because it was so traumatic for her, she will need medical help...our priority is that she gets that help."

Supt Ward re-iterated that the main focus is on the mother of the baby girl.

"We're very, very concerned for the health and well-being of mum," he said last night.

"Mum can be assured that if she contacts us, we will be as caring as we possibly can be to her and will provide as much support as possible."

He added. "We don't know what exactly happened leading up to the birth of the baby. However, it is possible that the baby was stillborn and if this is the case my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the baby's mum."

It is believed that the recyclable refuse, among which the baby's remains were discovered, originated from either Co Limerick or Finglas, Co Dublin.

Further inquiries are ongoing to determine the exact location from where the refuse was collected.

A source revealed that the remains of the baby had been damaged.

A unit from the garda technical bureau attended the scene shortly after 3pm yesterday, while gardaí cordoned off a section of the plant.However, lorries and workers continued to operate in the area, as well as near the site.

Senior detectives also attended the scene following the discovery and interviewed a number of workers.

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy has also been notified and a preliminary examination has been carried out at the scene.

However, a full post mortem is also expected to be carried out today.

Officers from Bray garda station are leading the investigation, and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them, particularly the baby's mother and father.

Detectives are keeping an open mind in relation to the discovery.

Supt Ward urged the mother to contact himself or Sgt Sorcha Fitzpatrick at Bray garda station or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station. Gardaí are also liasing with the Health Service Executive.

Greenstar has said it is assisting gardaí with their inquiries, but would not be commenting any further on the matter.

Cathaoirleach of Bray Town Council Brendan Thornhill said the community in Bray must come together to support the mother of the deceased infant. "I'm very shocked, it's a very, very sad case and it's not something you hear about happening.

"I'm sure there is someone out there who is very distressed and it's up to the community now to come together. They may know something," he added.

The incident occurred almost a year to the day since a newborn baby girl, subsequently named Maria, was discovered in a plastic bag in Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

Separately, the body of a newborn baby boy was discovered at a landfill site in Swords, Co Dublin, in 2003.

Tests showed the boy had never been fed once during his short life, and eventually died as a result of starvation after three weeks.

The infant was dumped some time earlier at Newtown Industrial Estate in Coolock and his body was transported to the landfill as workers cleared the site. No one has ever been prosecuted in relation to the horrific death.

Irish Independent

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