Baby discovery - Echoes of a disturbing past

ANYONE with a trace of humanity must feel a mixture of shock, horror, and sadness at the discovery of the body of a newborn girl at a recycling plant in Co Wicklow.

Baby discovery - Echoes of a disturbing past

Gardaí are seeking to contact the baby’s mother and are anxious to emphasise that it is her wellbeing that is paramount in their investigations.

Garda Supt Pat Ward, who is in charge of the investigation, displayed both wisdom and compassion when he appealed to the family of the mother to come forward, saying “my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the baby’s mum”.

Yet there are disturbing echoes of similar cases in the past. The tragic story of Ann Lovett still haunts to this day. She was a 15-year-old girl from Granard, Co Longford, who died giving birth beside a grotto on January 31,1984.

Ireland at the time offered cold comfort to young women with crisis pregnancies. Many were shamed into giving their children up for adoption while others fled to England for abortions.

But the concern must be that little has changed since then, despite many social advances in other ways.

Assuming that the mother of this little girl is also young and single, it is heartbreaking to think that she felt so alone as to place her newborn infant in a bin.

Is Ireland still no place for young women?

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