Stabbed baby's mother demands justice

Gardaí will send a new file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the coming weeks, in the case of a baby girl whose body was found in a laneway in Dun Laoghaire 32 years ago.

A woman claiming to be the mother of a baby girl discovered stabbed to death in a lane in Dun Laoghaire in 1973, today said she would not rest until she had justice for her child.

After the inquest into the unidentified baby girl was adjourned pending an end to the garda investigation, the woman, who was named as Cynthia Owen in court, said this had been extremely traumatic for herself and her family.

The woman, who is now in her forties, has claimed the baby was one of two she gave birth to as a young teenager as a result of sexual abuse during the 1970’s.

After the inquest, she said: “All of this has been extremely traumatic for me and my immediate family and I am anxious that the full facts of this case should be established as quickly as possible so that justice may finally be done.”

The inquest was reopened by Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty 32 years after the baby’s death following representations from Ms Owen’s solicitors.

“Many questions remain unanswered and for the sake of my daughter Noeleen and my son John, I will not rest until those answers are furnished,” the woman said after the adjournment.

The Dun Laoghaire Coroner’s Court heard the unidentified baby was discovered on April 4, 1973 in Lee’s Lane in Dun Laoghaire and the Coroner held an inquest on April 27 of that year.

The baby, whom Dr Geraghty said was still not identified, died from haemorrhaging from blood vessels in the neck due to stab wounds.

Gardaí applied to have the fresh inquest adjourned under Section 25(1) of the Coroner’s Act, as the matter was still under investigation.

The court heard the garda file was at an advanced stage and was expected to be given to the Director of Public Prosecutions within the next month.

Dr Michael Forde SC told the court he was representing Cynthia Owen, the mother of the deceased.

He said she had made several statements to gardaí on the matter and was anxious to have it adjourned as soon as possible.

The Coroner said it could take the DPP up to two months to make a decision and adjourned the inquest to February 1, 2006.

A woman, who stood up in court claiming to be a friend of Ms Owen’s, said: “It is cruel to adjourn it now. She has waited too long for this.”

Gardaí have been investigating the deaths of two children in Dalkey some 30 years ago to whom the woman allegedly gave birth.

Ms Owen has claimed one of the children, whom she named as Noeleen, was the baby found dumped in Dun Laoghaire.

The infant was buried in the Little Angels plot at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

After the inquest, Ms Owen said: “More than 32 years ago, only 100 yards from this courthouse, the body of my baby girl was found in a laneway.

“Noeleen had been stabbed to death immediately after her birth. An inquest was opened on April 27, 1973 and was then adjourned, pending garda investigations.

“It has taken until today to have the inquest reopened. Despite the lengthy passage of time, the Gardaí have now applied to adjourn the inquest again.

“Under the law the Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty, had no choice but to agree to the Garda request, but I am grateful that Dr Geraghty has put a time limit on the Garda’s inquiries and has refixed the inquest for February 1, 2006.”

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