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opening day Karen Harrington pleads not guilty to murdering Cork toddler Santina Cawley (2)

Santina Cawley was found with critical injuries in Cork city at around 5am on July 5 2019

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A woman has denied the murder of a two-year-old child in Cork three years ago.

Karen Harrington (38) pleaded not guilty before the Central Criminal Court on the opening day of her trial for the murder of Santina Cawley (2).

The little girl was found with critical injuries at 26 Elderwood Park off the Boreenamanna Road in Cork city around 5am on July 5 2019.

Despite desperate efforts by doctors and paramedics to stabilise the condition of the little girl, she was pronounced dead a short time after being rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Harrington of Lakelands Crescent, Mahon in Cork was first charged with the murder of the child three years ago before Cork District Court.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath was told by State counsel, Sean Gillane SC, that the case is likely to be at hearing for up to four weeks with the potential to enter a fifth week.

Brendan Grehan SC is the counsel for the defence.

Mr Justice McGrath was also told that the trial could involve more than 100 witnesses involving Gardai, residents of the area involved, relatives of both the deceased and the defendant as well as medical and forensic experts.

A jury of six men and six woman has been empanelled to hear the trial.

Santina Cawley's family including her parents, Bridget and Michael, were both in the Angelsea Street courthouse for today's arraignment.

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