Gardaí have renewed their appeal for the mother of a newborn baby found dead on a beach to seek help.
There are concerns that the girl or woman, who gave birth to a full-term baby girl, may have given birth unassisted and is likely to be in need of medical treatment.
An autopsy carried out on the body of the baby yesterday ruled out foul play in her death but further details have not been released.
The baby was found by a volunteer cleaner at Bell’s Beach just outside Balbriggan in north County Dublin on Saturday morning.
She is believed to have been there for a few days at most and was partially buried in the sand, although, with the gales and rain that lashed the area over the weekend, it was not possible to say if she was deliberately concealed.
It is not known whether she was born on the beach or was carried there after birth. The beach is close to the town of Balbriggan but is separated from nearby housing estates by railway tracks and GAA fields.
Garda Sergeant Fiona Savidge of Balbriggan Garda Station made a direct appeal to the mother of the baby, asking her to make contact with gardaí, a doctor, a hospital emergency department or Tusla, the child and family agency.
“I can assure you that you will be treated with the utmost of compassion and care and 100% confidentiality,” she said. Sgt Savidge also encouraged anyone who knew the woman involved to seek help on her behalf.
“I know you are a daughter, I know you are a probably a sister, a cousin. You may have a husband or boyfriend,” she said.
You may have just have confided in a friend. So to anybody out there that the mother of this baby has got in touch with, I am appealing to you to make contact.
Prayers were said at Mass in the local Catholic Church in Balbriggan yesterday in a show of support for the woman and the baby girl. The infant’s funeral will not be immediately finalised to allow time for her mother to come forward.
Concealed pregnancies are relatively rare and most women do make contact with the health services late on in their pregnancy, but there have been several cases of newborns found dead in recent years.
The Irish Family Planning Association appealed to any girl or woman with a crisis pregnancy to avail of its free counselling service for support and advice on all options. Counselling is available in ten centres nationally and can be accessed by calling 1850 49 50 51.
The HSE website sexualwellbeing.ie incorporates the national Crisis Pregnancy Programme and has information on all the supports available from the various women’s health and counselling services around the country, how to contact them, and what to expect.
Anyone in distress who needs a listening ear while waiting to make contact with a specialist service can contact the Samaritans on the six-digit freephone, 116 123.