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Monday 23 September 2019

Foul play is ruled out in death of baby girl whose body was found on beach

Gardaí urge mother to get in touch and say she'll be treated with compassion

Flowers at Bell’s Beach where a baby girl's body was discovered in Balbriggan North County Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Flowers at Bell’s Beach where a baby girl's body was discovered in Balbriggan North County Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Scene of tragedy: Bell’s Beach, where the baby girl’s body was discovered in Balbriggan, North County Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a baby girl whose body was found on a north Dublin beach over the weekend.

The full-term baby's remains were found partially covered in Balbriggan by a member of the public, shortly after 10am on Saturday.

An investigation into the discovery is continuing, with gardaí anxious for the child's mother to contact them.

Concerns have been expressed about her welfare and gardaí have said the mother will be treated with care and compassion.

A post-mortem on the baby's body was carried out yesterday which confirmed the remains were those of a baby girl.

Gardaí have also ruled out foul play and believe the baby died before being left at Bell's Beach in Balbriggan.

Buried

The child's body was partially covered in sand, although it was not immediately clear if the remains were partially buried or covered by sand from sea winds.

A Garda spokesman said: "A post-mortem examination completed today, December 16, 2018, established that the child was a full-term baby girl.

"It was also determined there was no foul play involved in the death of the child.

"We continue to appeal to the mother of the child to come forward and we are also appealing to anyone with information to contact Balbriggan garda station on 01 8020510."

The baby girl was Caucasian and the remains were found by a member of the public who was cleaning the beach at the time of the discovery.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Sergeant Fiona Savidge of Balbriggan garda station said: "A member of the public found the body of a new-born baby at Bell's Beach in Balbriggan.

"I want to get in touch with the mother of this baby, I am reaching out to you. I know you need medical attention.

"You need to go to your doctor, possibly a 24-hour doctor on call," Sgt Savidge said.

"If you could also go to an Accident and Emergency [unit], 24-hour care is available there," she said.

"We are here at Balbriggan garda station at (01) 666 4500 or Tusla can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0818 776 315.

"I can assure you, you will be treated with the utmost of compassion, care and 100pc confidentiality.

"I know you are a daughter, you are possibly a sister, a cousin.

"You may have a husband or a boyfriend. You may just have confided in a friend, so to anybody out there who the mother of this baby has got in touch with, I am appealing to you to make contact with us here."

Local Fine Gael Councillor Tom O'Leary expressed his shock over the weekend and also urged the mother to get medical attention.

"Without knowing any of the circumstances, I would appeal to the mother to come forward to seek the help and medical attention she needs.

"Maybe she is under a lot of pressure, we don't know the circumstances and the matter is very delicate," Mr O'Leary said.

"Maybe her family and friends are aware of her situation and they could assist her in coming forward. She needs to talk to somebody.

"God almighty, we don't know the circumstances but to think of anyone that might have had to go through that alone and also in those terrible weather conditions, alone on a beach.

"I can't bear to think of it. It's just so tragic. I am shocked.

"The whole of Ballbriggan will be in a state of shock," Mr O'Leary added.

Local officers, headed by Det Supt Paul Scott, immediately began inquiries in the area to help establish the identity of the baby's mother.

Gardaí have also appealed to anybody else with information about the incident to make contact with them.

Case conferences have also been held at Balbriggan garda station as investigators review the outcome of their inquiries so far.

Irish Independent

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