Sunday 25 February 2018

Newborn now 'flourishing' in foster care

Search continues: Baby Maria, who was abandoned in Rathcoole, Co Dublin
Search continues: Baby Maria, who was abandoned in Rathcoole, Co Dublin
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Baby Maria is now "doing well" and "flourishing" under the care of foster parents, the Sunday Independent has learned.

However, concerns for the well-being of her mother, whose identity is still unknown, continues to be a main priority for authorities.

Although the Tusla Child and Family Agency "don't usually comment" on individual cases, a spokeswoman said the group felt compelled to provide an update on the condition of the abandoned baby, who was found on the side of the road in Rathcoole in Dublin on May 8, after it received a huge groundswell of well wishes from members of the public.

"She is safe and well in foster care and she is being well looked after and is flourishing with a family," the spokeswoman told the Sunday Independent. "The baby is doing really well and we would like to thank everyone for their good wishes and messages of support," she added.

The agency also stressed that they will continue to work with the gardai to locate Maria's mother.

Last week gardai issued a third appeal for the mother to get in contact with them, including issuing the first photograph of Maria, looking healthy and sleeping peacefully.

But so far she has not come forward to claim the newborn, who was found wrapped in a fleece blanket in a paper Marks & Spencer bag.

Gardai say they have received a number of calls from the public since the original appeal was made, but so far there has been no significant witness. "We don't have any update at this point, launching another appeal will be assessed as we go along" a garda spokesman said.

The infant was rescued by a motorist who pulled into a gate on Steelestown Lane at around 3.30pm on what was a wet afternoon. Doctors believe baby Maria was between 24 and 36 hours old when she was abandoned and the fortunate arrival of the motorist saved her life.

The authorities continue to stress that the baby's parents have nothing to fear by coming forward.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Garda Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan on (01) 666-7600, or the Tusla Child and Family Agency on (01) 620-6387.

Sunday Independent

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