herald

Sunday 23 April 2017

Teenager arrested over alleged assault on baby girl fighting for her life

Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin
Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin

Gardai have arrested an 18-year-old man in relation to the alleged assault of a 10-week-old baby girl.

The suspect was arrested in Dublin yesterday evening and was being questioned at Dundalk Garda Station.

The baby remained in a critical condition last night and there are grave fears she will not survive.

The man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing serious harm to the child.

Suspect

It is understood that senior officers made the decision to arrest the suspect when they became "dubious" of an account that the young man gave investigating gardai about Monday's suspected assault in Ardee, Co Louth.

The 10-week-old girl was clinging to life last night on a ventilator at Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.

She suffered severe head injuries and other broken bones during the incident.

It is understood gardai are studying CCTV footage and examining items recovered in searches in Ardee.

Sources said specialist officers would also reinterview a number of people linked to the case.

The heartbroken family of the baby remained at the hospital last night.

Sources said gardai were treating the case as "extremely sensitive and difficult".

The ongoing investigation is being led out of Ardee Garda Station by Superintendent Fergus Treanor.

The girl was transferred to Temple Street after being presented at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on Monday evening.

The baby is the child of teenage Irish parents and had been living in an apartment in Ardee with them.

One line of inquiry officers are probing is a claim that the infant suffered the horrific injuries after she was thrown out of her pram when "unknown men" approached and "accidentally" pushed into a man who was wheeling her in a public area in Ardee.

Knocked

Gardai are investigating a report that three men knocked over the man and the baby he was pushing.

Last night, sources said these reports were just one strand of a massive gardai investigation and "everything was being looked at".

The alleged incident happened at 7pm on Monday close to the banks of the River Dee, according to the account given to investigating gardai.

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