Friday 24 November 2017

Woman hid pregnancy and left son in bin liner after birth

Edel Kennedy and Tom Shiel

A WOMAN concealed her pregnancy from her partner, then hid the body of their newborn son in a black bin liner bag in their home.

An inquest yesterday heard how the desperate woman, already a mother of five, could not face another pregnancy. But neither could she face telling anyone. In desperation, she left her baby wrapped in blankets, hidden in a bin liner in the bottom of a hot press.

The 42-year-old from Mayo had been planning to have a termination because she didn't want another child.

Things were "not good at home" at the time, she said yesterday and she feared that if she told her partner he would want to keep the baby.

For reasons that were unclear, she didn't go ahead with the termination but instead concealed her pregnancy from everyone. Her partner said he never noticed that she was pregnant, just that she had put on around a stone in weight.

But in January of this year the woman was admitted to hospital after losing a lot of blood in her home. It was only then that her family found out that she had been hiding her pregnancy and had given birth to her sixth child.


When her partner and her mother went to the hospital they were told by a nurse she had given birth and they should go home and search the house for a child "in case the other kids would discover it".

Her 38-year-old partner told coroner John O'Dwyer: "My mother was searching the hot press and on the bottom shelf under some towels she found a black bin liner.

"She took it out and discovered a baby's body wrapped in some towels in the bag. I touched the baby's forehead with my two fingers and I felt I was cold. I knew the child was dead."

A post mortem was carried out by the State pathologist, Marie Cassidy.

Dr Cassidy told the inquest the child was a full-term male infant. There was no evidence of any scars or injuries to suggest the child had been deliberately injured. The pathologist said the cause of death was a general lack of care and attention prior to death, complicated by aspiration of amniotic fluid and meconium.

After delivering a narrative verdict in the case, the coroner, Mr O'Dwyer described the death as "an awful tragedy" for the couple. "I hope the love and care this couple need is available to them from friends, family and the community," he added.

Irish Independent

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