Santina accused told gardaí: 'I didn’t murder no one'

Santina accused told gardaí: 'I didn’t murder no one'
Karen Harrington, 35, who appeared at a special sitting of Cork District Court charged with the murder of Santina Cawley on July 5. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts

A pregnant woman in her 30s charged with the murder of a two-year-old girl at an apartment in Cork City told gardaí: “I didn’t murder no one”.

At a special sitting of Cork District Court, Detective Garda Cormac Crotty gave evidence of the arrest charge and caution of Karen Harrington at 7.56am yesterday at a house in Lakeland Crescent, Mahon, in Cork City. The 35-year-old is charged with the murder of Santina Cawley at 26 Elderwood Park in Cork on July 5. Ms Harrington replied to the garda:

I don’t understand why I am getting charged. I didn’t murder no one.

Paula McCarthy, defending, asked that her client receive the necessary medical assistance in custody as she is four and a half months pregnant. Judge Mary Dorgan directed Ms Harrington be given medical assistance whilst in custody.

Free legal aid was granted after a statement of means was handed into Judge Dorgan. An application for bail will be made at the High Court at a later date. Ms Harrington who was dressed in a grey fleece top and light coloured pants did not speak during the short hearing.

Santina’s parents Bridget O’Donoghue and Michael Cawley were in court for the hearing. Karen Harrington, with an address at Elderwood Park, Boreenmanna Road, Cork was remanded in custody until her next court appearance on Monday next.

Santina Cawley was found with critical injuries at the Elderwood flat complex on July 5. She was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she died a few hours later.

An autopsy was carried out on two-year-old Santina at Cork University Hospital by assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster. It indicated she was murdered. The results were not released for operational reasons.

Santina was laid to rest on July 12. Chief celebrant at the mass Fr Oscar O’Leary told mourners at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne that Santina Cawley was a happy child who was cherished by her family.

She is survived by her parents and her siblings Candice, Michael, Patrick and Thomas.

In a statement issued after the Mass, the family said they would forever mourn the loss of their precious Santina. They also expressed gratitude to members of the public who raised funds through a GoFundMe page which paid for the funeral.

The GoFundMe page reached its target of €8,000 in just nine hours. It was closed when it quickly climbed to €12,425.

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