Gardaí in Cork are investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident that saw an unaccompanied infant freed from a car parked at a shopping centre.
Concerned members of the public contacted the gardaí on Monday afternoon after they saw the child alone in the car which was parked at the outdoor Mahon Point retail park.
The infant was freed from the car, however social media posts from people who say they witnessed the incident claim it was still some time later until the child’s mother returned to the car.
Local media shared a picture on Facebook allegedly from the scene, which attracted comments from some who claimed to have been at the scene of the incident.
It was alleged that the infant’s mother returned to the car half an hour after gardaí arrived.
Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating.
“Gardaí from Blackrock attended the scene of an incident in a car park in retail park on Mahon link Road at approximately 1pm on Monday following reports of an unaccompanied infant in a parked car,” the Garda Press Office said.
“The infant was recovered from the car unharmed and reunited with his mother a short time later.
“As the matter is currently under investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” a statement read.
On Cork’s Red FM, presenter Neil Prendeville read out a statement from an unnamed member of the public who claimed to have come across the child in the car.
“I was the first person to calm the child down,” the statement read.
“The baby was screaming in the car when I passed, so I stopped, looked in the window where I saw the child with sweat on his forehead and wet hair.
“The child was very distressed. I started talking to the child and within a minute or two the child calmed.” The witness said by the time they had come across the scene, a couple had already been at the car for 10 minutes. Security was called and the nearby Mothercare put out a request in case the mother was in the store.
“The guards were called and said they were on their way, but as the child seemed to be getting hotter and hotter, a number of us tried to reach in the window to open the door.
“Eventually a guy opened it. The child was sweating badly and happy to get out of the car,” the witness said.
The witness said they left after 35 minutes, by which time the gardaí were on the way and the child was given a bottle to cool down.
“It is frightening to think what could have happened,” the eyewitness said.
The incident occurred less than three weeks after a seven-month old baby girl died from overheating after she was left unattended in her father’s car in Co Tipperary.
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