herald

Friday 14 December 2018

'Tragedies' probed after two babies are found dead in cars

The body of the baby
discovered in Offaly was
taken to the Midland
Regional Hospital
The body of the baby discovered in Offaly was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital

Gardai are treating the death of a newborn baby found in the boot of a parked car in Offaly as "a tragedy".

The revelation came as, in a separate and unrelated development, the body of a baby was found in the boot of a car parked near Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital.

The discovery came after the teenage mother, who is from Donegal, went into the Derry hospital immediately after giving birth and raised the alarm.

In Offaly, gardai are treating the discovery of the newborn's body in Birr on March 29 as a tragedy, with the baby being stillborn.

A source explained that the body was discovered in the boot of the parked car some time after the baby's birth.

The body was then taken to the Midland Regional Hospital (MRH), Tullamore, for a full post-mortem examination.

The baby's death came to light after the mother attended hospital seeking treatment for medical complications arising from childbirth.

It is understood the woman was in a very distressed condition.

Staff became concerned for her welfare and it was at this point the location of the baby was brought to their attention.

The Office of the State Pathologist was informed and a post-mortem examination was carried out on the infant at the MRH on April 1.

Offaly Coroner Mr Brian Mahon was also notified of the death, in accordance with protocols.

However, as the baby's death was deemed to be a stillbirth it will not be the subject of a full coroner's inquest.

Gardai confirmed they are investigating the "sudden death" of the infant.

It is understood the incident is being treated as a tragedy.

Investigation

The investigation will be directed by the findings of the final post-mortem examination report.

The initial indications are that the infant's death was due to natural causes.

Gardai have not disclosed the gender of the baby or the age of the mother involved.

The mother has been receiving counselling supports since the incident came to light. It is understood she remains very distraught over what happened.

Meanwhile, the PSNI are similarly treating the discovery of a baby's body in a parked car in Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital as a tragedy.

The baby is believed to have been several weeks premature when delivered stillborn.

The baby was found in a car parked just a short distance from the entrance to the hospital's Foetal Assessment Unit.

The baby's mother, who is in her late teens, was very distressed at the scene. She subsequently vanished from the hospital.

Staff were deeply concerned for her welfare and notified the PSNI, which began searching for her. The distressed teenage mother was located nearby a short time later. She subsequently received immediate medical treatment, as well as full psychological supports.

A post-mortem examination is scheduled to be carried out on the baby. The PSNI warned that, given the circumstances involved, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on the matter.

Medical and counselling supports are expected to remain in place for the teenage mother for some time.

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