Infant found at Wicklow recycling plant born weeks earlier than thought

Gardaí have been forced to widen their search for the mother of a baby girl whose body was found among waste on a sorting conveyor after an autopsy revealed that the baby was born some weeks earlier than initially thought.

Officers have been continuing their search of a recycling facility for clues to the identity of the baby girl.

An appeal for the mother to come forward was repeated yesterday amid growing concerns for her health and emotional wellbeing.

Gardaí said the results of an autopsy suggested the baby was born some weeks earlier than initially thought and there was nothing to suggest deliberate injuries were caused to the baby. They also confirmed that the baby is Caucasian.

If her body is not claimed, her remains will be released to the HSE and arrangements made with the local authorities for her burial.

However, gardaí are still hopeful the mother will make herself known to them and they appealed to her to make contact or to at least seek medical help.

There are concerns that if the birth was unassisted, the mother may not know if she fully expelled the placenta or suffered a tear needing stitches, both of which would leave her prone to infection.

The baby’s remains were found at the Greenstar recycling plant at Fassaroe on the outskirts of Bray, Co Wicklow, on Wednesday morning by workers sorting through recycling materials.

Gardaí were called and the scene was sealed off for forensic examination, which will continue today. Greenstar is also working with detectives to try to identify the bin trucks that deposited their loads in the area where the baby was found.

The body of the newborn infant found at Greenstar Recycling , Fassaroe, Bray, Co. Wicklow is removed from the scene this evening. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The body of the newborn infant found at Greenstar Recycling , Fassaroe, Bray, Co. Wicklow is removed from the scene this evening. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Greenstar has collection routes all over the south-east but has been working to narrow down the vehicles and the areas they covered before arriving at Fassaroe.

It is not known if the baby was left in a household bin or a commercial container.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, backed the Garda call for the mother to come forward. Chief executive Fred McBride said: “The priority for Tusla at this time is the health and wellbeing of the mother.

‘In the event that the mother contacts us she will be provided with all necessary support and her call will be treated in a sensitive and compassionate manner.”

Infant found at Wicklow recycling plant born weeks earlier than thought

Mr McBride said the Tusla helpline, 076-6958400, was ready to take a call from the mother or someone close to her and it was manned by professional staff who would be able to arrange whatever assistance was needed.

While the mother’s circumstances are not known, the CARI charity (Children at Risk in Ireland), which supports children and young people who have had unwanted sexual experiences, offered its services to anyone affected by the news of the baby’s discovery.

Chief executive Mary Flaherty said: “We in CARI are saddened and shocked that in this day and age a woman cannot get the help she needs to deal with a problematic pregnancy.”

She urged anyone with a concern to contact CARI’s helpline on 1890 924 567. The Garda confidential line is 1800 666111.


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