Heartbroken mother of Santina Cawley: 'Confess what you did to my baby'

Heartbroken mother of Santina Cawley: 'Confess what you did to my baby'
Santina Cawley. Picture: Provision

The mother of murdered two-year-old Santina Cawley has urged the killer of her baby girl to confess.

“Confess what you did to my baby,” a tearful Bridget O'Donoghue has urged.

“You took my baby's life...at least give her the justice she deserved,” she said in an interview published in a Sunday newspaper.

Ms O'Donoghue recalled how she held her daughter's broken body in her arms when they switched off the life support machine.

“All I could think was my beautiful little baby had been kicked around like a football.”

The toddler, who was killed in Cork just over a week ago, was buried last weekend and those attending her requiem Mass heard she was a happy child who always made her mother smile and laugh.

Gardaí investigating the child's murder renewed their appeal to the public for information.

They have appealed to people who were in the Elderwood Estate area or Boreenamanna Road areas in the early hours of Friday, July 5, to contact them.

They have urged those with dash cam or mobile phone footage from the area at the time to make it available to them.

A woman, who is not related to Santina, was questioned by gardaí in relation to the death of the child. She was released without charge.

The child's father, Michael, found her lying unconscious having suffered multiple bone fractures, cuts and bruises in the Elderwood Park complex off Boreenmanna Road.

Bridget rushed to the hospital to see her daughter.

"When the brought her to me, she was freezing. They checked her heart, her heart was gone.

Flowers were laid outside the apartment where Santina died
Flowers were laid outside the apartment where Santina died

When I lifted her, the blanket fell away and that's when I saw the bruises. The bruises were everywhere, all up and down her legs, her chest, all the way down her back.

The little girl was laid to rest following her funeral Mass at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne in the city on Friday.

Bridget who visited her daughter's grave last weekend said she had seen Santina five days before she was murdered and recalled how her little girl was full of happiness and life.

She said she could not describe the kind of person who would kill a baby.

“You'd have to be an evil, evil person.”

Ms O'Donoghue said Santina was buried with the toys that had meant so much to her in her short life.

“We buried her with her Barney bear, a unicorn, a truck and her Pepa Pig. Santina was an angel – I didn't want her to be alone.”

Anyone with information that may help gardaí investigating the case is urged to contact Anglesea Street Station on 021 452 200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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