Ireland: 'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out

19:00  14 july  2019
19:00  14 july  2019 Source:   independent.ie

First photo of tragic tot Santina Cauley, 2, who died after sustaining injuries at apartment in Cork

First photo of tragic tot Santina Cauley, 2, who died after sustaining injuries at apartment in Cork Tributes have poured in for the little toddler who died during the early hours of Friday morning . Gardai are investigating after little Santina, 2, was found in a critical condition at apartment on the south side of Cork city at around 5am on Friday. She was taken to hospital from an apartment in the Elderwood complex on Boreenmanna Road, she was later pronounced dead. Following the completion of her post mortem by Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Margot Bolster, gardai have now launched a murder investigation.

THE grief-stricken mum of murdered toddler Santina Cawley has told of her utter heartbreak In the note, she wrote: “ To my loving beautiful daughter Santina my heart is broken for what happened to you . A post-mortem examination carried out by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster is

A toddler is a child 12 to 36 months old. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily

'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out © John Delea 2019� Bridget O'Donoghue tends to the grave of her two year old daughter, Santina Cawley

THE devastated mother of murdered two-year-old Santina Cawley today directly calls on her little girl's killer: "Confess what you did to my baby."

In a heartbreaking interview with the Sunday World, Sabrina's mum Bridget O'Donoghue tells how she cradled the little girl in her arms on the morning of her murder as doctors switched off the respirator keeping her alive.

Tears streaming from her eyes, Bridget also reveals the full horror of the injuries sustained by the "loving and happy" little Santina, whose cruel death her mum today describes as "pure evil".

Woman arrested as gardai probe murder of baby girl Santina Cawley in Cork

Woman arrested as gardai probe murder of baby girl Santina Cawley in Cork Woman arrested as gardai probe murder of baby girl Santina Cawley in Cork . Detectives arrested a woman, in her 30s, at an address in Cork city today at around noon. She is being held at Gurranabraher Garda Station for questioning and can be detained for up to 24 hours. Tragic Santina Cawley, two, died in Cork city during the early hours of Friday morning, July 5. She was found in a critical condition at an apartment in the Elderwood complex on Boreenmanna Road on the south side of Cork city.

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"How could you kill my baby that way?" she asked.

"Her little body was broken. She has bruises going all the way down from her neck to her feet.

"Her beautiful little white teeth were broken when I held her in my arms. I was cradling her as they turned off the machine, I could feel the broken bones in the back of her head. All I could think was my beautiful little baby had been kicked around like a football.

'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out Santina Cawley

"My poor Santina, she was always so happy and she never complained. And now she's here in a grave. Santina was an angel. Come forward and admit what you did to her. You took my baby's life… at least give her the justice she deserves."

Bridget broke down as she revealed her anger that Tusla had removed Santina from her care three months ago after the toddler broke her femur when she fell down some steps in her grandmother's apartment.

Woman arrested by gardai over Cork murder of baby girl Santina Cawley released

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"She fell down three steps in the apartment and when she got back up I could see she wasn't walking right, so I took her to the hospital," Bridget said.

'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out © John Delea 2019� Bridget O'Donoghue at her daughter Santina Cawley's grave at St Catherines Cemetery in Kilcully, Co. Cork

"I begged them not to take her from me, but they said they'd made up their mind and there was nothing I could do.

"Her leg was in a cast and, because I've the four other children, they gave her to her father to look after while she was recovering.

"I'm so angry about that right now - if they hadn't taken her from me she'd still be here."

Little Santina was discovered by her father Michael lying unconscious and having suffered multiple bone fractures, cuts and bruises, at an apartment in the Elderwood Park complex off Boreenmanna Road in Cork at 4.50am on Friday of last week.

Gardaí investigating Santina's death arrested a woman on Monday and she was conveyed to Gurranabraher Garda Station for questioning. The Sunday World understands the woman has denied causing the injuries to Santina.

'God's newest angel': Heartbreaking scenes at ceremony for tragic Cork toddler Santina

'God's newest angel': Heartbreaking scenes at ceremony for tragic Cork toddler Santina 'God's newest angel': Heartbreaking scenes at ceremony for tragic Cork toddler Santina

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Tot Santina was laid to rest following her funeral Mass at the North Cathedral in the city on Friday.

Visiting her daughter's grave yesterday, heartbroken Bridget said more than anything she wants justice for her baby.

"I can't sleep, I can't eat, not knowing what was done to her," she said.

"I'm getting weaker every day, but until Santina has justice... I'm haunted by the not knowing.

"There are more than 40 gardaí working on Santina's case. They've told us this is a priority.

"And I believe they will get the person who did this, but they need to have everything perfect for when they charge them."

'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out Tragic: Santina Cauley (2), who was found beaten to death in a Cork city apartment

Recalling the moment the nightmare of her daughter's death began for her, Bridget told how gardaí came to her door at 7am on the Friday morning of the killing.

"The garda said: 'It's Santina, she's in hospital, you need to go there now.'

"I put my hands to my face and said: 'Tell me she's not dead.'

"But the garda said I needed to speak with the doctors.

"Michael, my little 10-year-old came with me, and when we got to the hospital the doctors were waiting for us. There were five or six doctors waiting in a private room where they took me and told me that Santina was dead… only the machine was breathing for her.

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"When they brought me in to her, she was freezing. They'd checked her heart, but they said her heart was gone.

"There was a blanket over her, but they asked me if I wanted to hold her.

"I said: 'Of course, I want to hold my baby.' And when I lifted her, the blanket fell away and that's when I saw the bruises.

"The bruises were everywhere, all up and down her legs, her chest, all the way up to her neck.

"And then Michael said: 'Mommy, look at her teeth.' Santina had the most lovely white little teeth, but they were all pushed back and chipped.

"We had to close her mouth in the coffin and put a polo neck inside her lovely pink flowery dress to cover the bruises on her neck.

'Confess what you did to my baby' - mum of murdered toddler Santina speaks out Relatives carry the remains of her two year old daughter Santina at her removal in Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

"When I picked her up and was rocking her, I could feel the damage at the back of her head. It was dinged in and there was all blood around her mouth and her ears were black and blue. The child had been brutally and badly beaten.

"The doctors said they couldn't tell me what happened to her so I just cradled her.

"I rocked her back and forth and kept whispering: 'I'm here baby, wake up, wake up for mommy.'

"I'm sorry baby, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. It's not my fault, it's not my fault… if you were with me, you'd still be alive.

Boy (9) in serious condition after being struck by car

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That's because babies and toddlers learn to speak by interacting with parents and caregivers, picking up on sounds, words, body language, and eye contact. Your child will get the most out of any reading experience if you sit together and talk through what you 're seeing. ("Where did the little gorilla go?

"I can't explain how someone would do this to my baby. I had such plans for her."

Bridget said she had seen little Santina five days before the murder, on the Sunday, and the little girl was full of happiness and life.

"She didn't have a mark on her. She was perfect," she said.


After Bridget gave her daughter a final heartbreaking kiss goodbye in the hospital, she was informed by the medical staff that the little girl's body needed to be removed to undergo a post-mortem investigation.

Bridget said the one chink of light in the darkest of weeks imaginable came when she heard on Monday that gardaí had arrested a woman in connection with the murder.

"I thought: 'Thank God, they've got someone.' So, when they released her without charge, that was so hard because it meant we knew nothing all over again. That broke my heart.

"I don't have the words to describe the person who did this to my daughter… monster… evil… I can't describe what kind of person would kill a baby like that… you'd have to be an evil, evil person."

Bridget said when Santina was placed in the coffin, she was surrounded by the teddy bears that had meant so much to her in her life.

"We buried her with her Barney bear, a unicorn, a truck and her Peppa pig.

"Santina was an angel - I didn't want her to be alone."

Anyone with information relevant to the case is asked to contact gardaí at Anglesea Street station on 021 4522000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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'She was like a football to them and they kicked her to death, whoever did this to her'

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