Thursday 18 July 2019

Discovery of new-born babies in car boots in separate cases being treated as 'tragedies'

The baby was taken to Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore
The baby was taken to Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore

Ralph Riegel and Ian Begley

Gardaí are treating the death of a new-born baby whose body was found in the boot of a parked car in Co Offaly as "a tragedy".

The revelation came as - in a separate and unrelated development - the body of a new-born baby was found in the boot of a car parked near Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital.

The discovery came after the teenage mother, from Donegal, went into the Derry hospital immediately after giving birth and raised the alarm.

In Offaly, gardaí are treating the discovery of a new-born baby's body in Birr on March 29 as a tragedy.

It is understood the baby was stillborn. A source told the Irish Independent the body was discovered in the boot of the parked car some time after the baby was born.

The remains were taken to the Midland Regional Hospital (MRH), Tullamore, for a full post-mortem examination.

The baby's death came to light after the mother attended hospital for treatment for medical complications arising from childbirth. It is understood the woman was in a very distressed condition. The location of the baby then became known.

The Office of the State Pathologist was informed and a post-mortem examination was carried out on the infant at MRH on April 1.

Offaly Coroner Mr Brian Mahon was also notified of the death.

However, as the baby's death was deemed to be a stillbirth it will not be the subject of a full coroner's inquest.

Gardaí confirmed they are investigating the "sudden death" of the infant. It is understood the incident is being treated as a tragedy.

The investigation will be directed by the findings of the full post-mortem examination report.

The initial indications are that the infant's death was due to natural causes.

Gardaí have not disclosed the gender of the baby or the age of the mother involved.

The mother has been receiving counselling supports since the incident came to light.

Meanwhile, the PSNI are similarly treating the discovery of a baby's body in a parked car at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital as a tragedy.

The baby is believed to have been delivered several weeks prematurely and was stillborn.

The baby was found in a car parked just a short distance from the entrance to the hospital's foetal assessment unit.

The baby's mother, who is in her late teens, was very distressed at the scene. She subsequently disappeared from the hospital.

Staff were deeply concerned for her welfare and notified the PSNI.

The teenage mother was located nearby a short time later. She received immediate medical treatment and psychological support.

A post-mortem examination is scheduled to be carried out on the baby.

The PSNI warned that, given the circumstances involved, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.

The nature of their investigation will also be determined by the full post-mortem examination findings.

The young mother is receiving ongoing medical and counselling support.

Irish Independent

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