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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 23 September, 2019
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Gardaí investigating alleged incident of newborn left in car in hot sun

The incident happened in the car park of the Market Green Shopping Centre in Midleton in Co Cork earlier this week.

market The Market Green Shopping Centre in Midleton Source: Google Maps

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING an incident which saw a newborn baby allegedly left alone in the back seat of an unlocked car on a hot afternoon earlier this week.

The incident is alleged to have happened in the car park of the Market Green Shopping Centre in Midleton, Co Cork, on Tuesday.

A woman, Shauna Hennessy, who noticed the infant in the car, has spoken of the incident on RTÉ Liveline.

“There were two parents, a five or six-year-old boy who got out of the car, and they left a baby, about two weeks old behind in the car,” she said.

According to Hennessy the temperature at the time inside the car was 24 degrees Celsius per the dashboard readout. She said the family was gone for just under 20 minutes and couldn’t see the car from where they had gone to.

“The four windows were down a small bit. I was able to put my hand in and open the actual door,” Shauna said.

I mean it would have been very easy to rob the child if you wanted to.
I was in my mother’s car when the other car pulled in next to us. The father was driving, with the mum and the six-year-old in the back seat and the car seat in the middle.

Shauna said that the baby girl was wide awake and appeared to be “a happy baby”. “But still it’s wrong to leave any child in a car like that,” she said.

I could feel the heat burst out when I opened the door. The baby was in direct sunlight. There was a shade on the car but it was on the wrong side.

‘Relax, relax’

Hennessy said she rang the gardaí at least twice. The first time she was told that a car would be up to her in two minutes. She informed them of the make and registration of the car and of the circumstances.

The second time, after the family in question had re-emerged to find a crowd gathered around their car, she was informed that “there were no cars available, just let them go, there’s nothing that can be done now”.

Prior to this Hennessy had taken a video of the baby in the car “so that no-one could contradict that it had happened”. She subsequently posted the video to Facebook but has since removed it on request from the gardaí.

“When the family came back, other people were saying to them that ‘this is cruel’. The father just replied ‘relax, relax, relax, it’s ok’,” she said.

When we told him the gardaí had been called he just said ‘good, good’ and walked away.

A spokesperson confirmed that gardaí are aware of an incident having taken place in Midleton and are investigating.

It’s understood that that investigation is proceeding in conjunction with the child agency Tusla.

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