herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Gardai release photo of Maria in plea to mum

appeal

Baby Maria
Baby Maria

Gardai have issued this photo of a newborn girl who was found on the outskirts of the capital 12 days ago in the latest attempt to convince the child's mother to come forward.

Officers still have no idea who the mother of the child is and sources have revealed that a woman from the west of Ireland has been ruled out of inquiries.

Yesterday, Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan, of the Child Protection Unit at Clondalkin Garda Station, said: "We are releasing this photograph so mum can see her little baby girl and we would ask mum to please contact us."

Gardai are appealing for anyone who may have been on Steelstown Lane in Rathcoole, west Dublin, between 10am and 3pm on Friday, May 8, to contact Clondalkin Garda Station if they have not already done so.

"The matter remains a complete mystery to gardai and that is why officers have taken this step," a source said last night.

"In many ways, releasing the photo is one final throw of the dice to get the mother to come forward," the source added.

The baby girl was found wrapped in a Primark-labelled towel, which was wrapped in a black plastic bin liner placed in a paper M&S bag.

The black bag had been folded over at the top to prevent the baby getting wet and cold in the torrential rain on the day.

Although the bag was folded closed, it was not sealed so there was little risk she would suffocate.

efforts

Gardai are satisfied that the mother went to efforts to ensure that her baby would be found quickly and safely.

The baby had been fed when she was left on the rural Steelstown Road on the Dublin border with Kildare.

Tusla, the child and family agency, has previously stressed that the mother will not be forced to take responsibility for the child, but it is important she has a say in its future with regards to fostering or adoption processes.

Both Tusla and the gardai have stated that their major concern is for the mother, who could be in physical, emotional and mental distress, and possibly may have acted under duress or fear.

Tusla have secured an Interim Care Order for the child in the Family Court.

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