Baby girl's injuries in alleged assault case 'may be weeks old'
Some of the injuries suffered by a 11-week-old baby who remained in a critical condition in hospital last night may have occurred some weeks earlier, the Herald can reveal.
The little girl was clinging to life at Temple Street Children's University Hospital amid serious concerns for her survival.
It can now be disclosed that medical examinations have indicated that some bruising, which she suffered on her back and legs, probably happened before she was allegedly the victim of a serious assault on Monday of last week in which she sustained head injuries.
"Some of these injuries appeared to be at least a couple of weeks old," a source said last night.
"These were bruising injuries that are separate to what allegedly happened to the poor child last week."
On Friday evening, an 18-year-old male was released without charge after being questioned by gardai.
The teenager had been arrested in Dublin at 6pm on Thursday but was released from custody at Drogheda Garda Station at around the same time on Friday.
A file on the case will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
It is understood that senior officers made the decision to arrest the suspect when they became "dubious" about an account that the young man gave to investigating gardai about an incident in Ardee, Co Louth last Monday.
The man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing serious harm to the child.
The investigation into the case is being led out of Ardee Garda Station by Superintendent Fergus Treanor.
The tot had been transferred to the Dublin hospital after being taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth on Monday evening by her parents.
The baby is the child of teenage Irish parents and had been living in an apartment in Ardee with them.
Stricken family members have been keeping a vigil at her bedside ever since.
Gardai have been investigating if the baby had been assaulted at the apartment.
However, they have also probed another account of what might have happened.
This is a claim that she suffered the horrific injuries after she was thrown out of her pram when "unknown men" approached and "accidentally" pushed into the male who was wheeling the baby in a public area in Ardee.