Mother of abandoned newborn baby 'has nothing to fear from gardaí'

Gardaí say the mother of a newborn baby found in Dublin on Friday has nothing to fear from them.

The baby girl, discovered at Steelstown Lane in Rathcoole on Friday, has been named as Maria, as gardaí continue to search for her mother.

They are concerned that the mother may need urgent medical attention.

“This mum has nothing to fear. We’re here to help, and the matter will be dealt with compassionately and sensitively,” said Superintendent Brendan Connolly of Clondalkin Garda Station.

Superintendent Connolly said that the baby is doing well.

"This morning, we are pleased to be able to report that the baby is doing well, and she's being cared for in hospital," he said.

"An Garda Síochána is working closely with the HSE and Tusla.

"Based on medical opinion, the baby girl, who has been named as Baby Maria, may have been born 24-36 hours prior to her being discovered."

The infant was naked and had been wrapped in a blue towel and a brown fleece throw, which was wrapped in a black plastic bag, inside a paper Marks and Spencers Bag.

Superintendent Connolly said that she was very cold, and the weather was particularly bad:

“The child was very cold, I understand, but she was wrapped in a throw and in a bag.”

While the items found with the baby are common, Supt Connolly is hopeful someone will recognise them.

“We’re just hoping that somebody, seeing the items, particularly the throw, the Primark Home throw, may recognise the items, and may be in a position to assist us to find Mum and to reunite her, if she wishes, with her baby.”

They have appealed for anyone who has any information or recognises some of the materials discovered with the baby to contact them in Clondalkin on 01-6667600 or on the confidential line 1800 666 111.

Sergeant Maeve O’Sullivan, who works with the Child Protection Unit in Clondalkin, and colleagues in the station are available to take phonecalls on the case at any time.

Anyone, including family or friends, who wishes to speak with Sergeant O’Sullivan will be handled with the utmost discretion, gardaí said.

Rita Byrne, principal social worker with the Child and Family Agency appealed to the new mother to get in touch, even if she doesn’t want to have contact with the baby.

“Our one concern is for mammy, and we would like mammy to come forward and make contact with us, so that we can look at supports that we can offer her into the future,” she said.

“But at the moment, we’re desperately anxious that she makes contact with us as soon as possible.”

The baby is doing well now, and will be released from the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin soon.

Child protection expert Shane Dunphy encouraged the baby's mother to come forward, saying that criminal charges are very unlikely.

"The law enforcement people, social services, psychologists, all understand now that when something like this happens it's usually as a result of extreme post-natal depression or some other kind of psychotic episode, and this would not be the normal or characteristic behaviour of the people involved," he said.

"Anybody coming forward would be treated as someone who needs help and support rather than as a criminal."


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