Investigators to use DNA database to identify mother of Baby Belle

Investigators to use DNA database to identify mother of Baby Belle

Investigators will use a DNA database in an effort to identify the mother of a dead baby girl found wrapped in a cloth on a beach in north county Dublin.

A female volunteer cleaning Bell's Beach in Balbriggan, Dublin, on Saturday morning, found the baby partly buried. Gardai have named the baby as 'Belle'.

A post-mortem examination showed that the baby was stillborn and was on the beach for less than 24 hours.

The body will remain with the coroner until she is released for burial. Gardai and the local authority are expected to arrange the funeral.

In a fresh appeal made yesterday to help find the mother, Sergeant Fiona Savidge of Balbriggan Garda Station said the mother's health and welfare is their primary concern: "The safety of Belle's mum is of paramount importance. The post-mortem results showed that it was the birth of a baby girl; she was full term and unfortunately baby Belle was stillborn."

The name is significant in that the location where Belle was found is Bell's Beach, along with the fact we are in the festive period. The name Belle is also significant in that it's the French name for beautiful," Sgt Savidge explained.

"I want to thank everyone in the general area for their assistance and for the number of phone calls that have been received by Balbriggan Garda Station."

Eilidh McNab, area manager for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, in north Dublin, said: "We are here to ask the mother to please seek medical attention.

"She will know that the gardaí in Balbriggan will have named her beautiful baby 'Belle', and we want her to seek medical attention and receive the care, support and attention she needs and deserves."

Gardai are trying to establish how the baby came to be on the beach but say they are satisfied she was not washed up.

Officers will also search through local CCTV to try to identify the mother or who was involved in the incident.

Master of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Dr Rhona Mahony, said she is concerned that the woman might be experiencing complications: “We understand she is going through a terribly difficult time. I imagine she is very confused, distressed and frightened; she may feel overwhelmed. I hope she will feel able to contact someone. It's about her; making sure she is safe; making sure she is ok.”

She is concerned that the woman could be suffering from excessive bleeding and feeling unwell: “Our primary concern is caring for her. There is no question of anyone giving out to her. We are concerned for her physical health; her mental health."

A number of people living in Balbriggan are arranging a candlelight vigil in the town square for the baby and to show support and love for the mother.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Balbriggan Garda Station on 018 0666 000 or Tusla on 0818 776315.

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