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Abandoned tot forced to wait for treatment

NewsBy Nicola Tallant
Rita Byrne, left, Principal Social Worker with Child and Family Agency, TULSA and Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan of the Child Protection Unit, Clondalkin speak to the media regarding the discovery of Baby Maria in a shopping bag
Rita Byrne, left, Principal Social Worker with Child and Family Agency, TULSA and Sergeant Maeve O'Sullivan of the Child Protection Unit, Clondalkin speak to the media regarding the discovery of Baby Maria in a shopping bag

Dumped baby Maria had to wait two hours after she was found in a black bin liner while hospitals struggled to find the specialist bed she required.

In a shameful indictment on the Irish health system, it has emerged that gardai and hospital staff at Tallaght did all they could for the infant and stabilised her as they took hours to find a maternity hospital able to take Maria. 

Medics in Tallaght were immediate in their response to ambulance crews when they heard the baby was on the way and teams of nurses and medical staff looked after her until she could be transferred to the specialist care she needed. 

The baby was eventually transferred to the Coombe, where it is understood she was immediately treated for hypothermia.

In a week where the Nurses and Midwives Association warned that Beaumont hospital was so dangerously overcrowded that it was like a warzone, further details of Ireland’s hospital shame have emerged.

The Coombe Hospital in Dublin 

The Sunday World understands that staff at the Rotunda and Holles Street Hospitals have been complaining that they are at breaking point due to cutbacks in recent months.

Neither the National Maternity Hospital nor its counterpart were in a position to accommodate little Maria, and it was eventually decided that the Coombe would take her.

“It was dreadful,” a source said. “Here was this little baby abandoned by her mother on the side of the road to die and then it looked like there wasn’t a bed for her in a suitable hospital.”

It is understood that the admissions procedures between the hospitals further delayed the process.

Gardai were called to the scene at a gate to a field near Rathcoole last Friday week when a man stopped his car and got out for a rest break. He spotted the newborn wrapped in a fleece blanket and placed in a black bag.

It is understood the little girl was filthy dirty and had been dumped with the placenta still attached. She was wet and freezing cold but alive.

On Friday, gardai renewed their appeal for the mother of Maria to come forward – assuring her they are not treating the case as a criminal investigation.

Sergeant Maeve O’Sullivan from the Garda child protection unit said the little girl is “doing well” in the Coombe.