Mother of dead baby in Wicklow ‘must seek medical attention’

Gardaí issue appeal as postmortem due on baby girl found at recycling centre near Bray


Gardaí have appealed for the mother of the newborn baby girl found dead at a waste recycling centre near Bray, Co Wicklow on Wednesday to seek medical attention and contact them.

A postmortem will be carried out on Thursday afternoon on the body of the baby girl, which was discovered at about 11am on Wednesday at the recycling centre run by the waste collection company Greenstar at its facility in Fassaroe, near Bray.

It is not known if the baby was born alive and gardaí do not know the circumstances of her death. The baby was not clothed when found.

Gardaí have said their main priority is the health and welfare of the girl’s mother.

During a briefing at Bray Garda Station on Wednesday night, Supt Pat Ward said there were no obvious signs of injury to the baby.

“We don’t know what exactly happened leading up to the birth of the baby,” he said.

“However, it is possible that the baby was still born and if this is the case my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the baby’s mum.”

He said: “I am very concerned for the welfare of the mum of this baby as she is possibly in a distressed state and in need of medical assistance.

“I would please ask for the mum to seek immediate medical treatment.

“I am available here at Bray Garda Station to help the mum and dad of this baby girl and if they would contact me or Sgt Sorcha Fitzpatrick here at Bray Garda Station we will deal with any contact with us discreetly and sensitively.”

He said gardaí believed the pregnancy probably went to full term and early indications from a medical examination suggested the death occurred recently.

An employee was separating recyclable material when he came upon what he initially thought was a doll.

The Fassaroe centre accepts waste from all over the country.

A senior forensic psychologist has said the more it time it took to find the mother who gave birth to the baby found in Bray, the more distressed she would be.

Mike Berry, a forensic psychologist and honorary senior lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said he suspected it was a young mother.

“Probably a teenager who found herself pregnant and was able to hide the pregnancy from family and friends,” he said.

“The more time it takes to find her, the more distressed she’s going to be.

“She has given birth, probably quite surprised by whole process and then she’s absolutely terrified of being caught and disposed of the baby. Not in a cold blooded way, more in a sense of panic.”

Mr Berry told the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk research showed the younger the mother the less likely she was to report pain or psychological problems.

“She’s likely to be very frightened, very distressed. The important message is that she needs to get psychological and physical help.”

He said another possibility was an older woman who might have had a child by the wrong man.

Mr Berry said gardaí had shared little information “because they don’t want to get loads of people ringing up saying I think my child’s had a child”.

“Unfortunately, they will get lots of phone calls, some of them will be people who are mentally ill, others from people who think they know something about the case, people wanting to help,” he said.

“This will add to the confusion of the case. They need to have something unique to the mother.

Mr Berry said young mothers would often wrap up the baby and place the child somewhere they could be found like a church or hospital.

“In Eastern Europe they have baby boxes encouraging mothers to transfer over the baby to someone who is going to care for them,” he said.

“In this case I guess the birth was unexpected, she hadn’t planned anything that you would normally associate with motherhood. I suspect the baby was disposed of very quickly after she was born.

“She is going to be distressed by the whole process. She is going to find it very difficult to come to terms with the loss of her baby,that she may not have planned to have.”

Supt Ward said the mother or anyone else – including the father or possibly distressed relatives and friends of the woman – could telephone Bray gardaí at 01 -6665300 or the Garda confidential line 1800-666111.