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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020

Toddler Santina Cawley died from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, inquest hears

The toddler died after being found critically injured in an apartment on 5 July.


A TODDLER MURDERED in Cork city in July died of multiple injuries due to blunt force trauma, an inquest has heard. 

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster carried out a post-mortem on two year old Santina Cawley who died on 5 July at an apartment on the south side of Cork city. 

At an inquest in Cork Coroner’s Court Dr Bolster said that Santina died of traumatic brain injury and an upper cervical spinal cord injury. She also incurred poly trauma blunt force trauma due to fracture of the long bone. 

The inquest has been adjourned pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. A woman has appeared before the courts in relation to the death. 

Santina Cawley was laid to rest in Kilcully cemetery in Co Cork on 12 July. She was the youngest of five children. 

Her parents Bridget O’Donoghue and Michael Cawley were present at the inquest which was further adjourned by Coroner Philip Comyn. 

Santina Cawley was found with critical injuries at the  Elderwood flat complex in Boreenmanna Road in Cork city on 5 July. She was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she died a few hours later.

Chief celebrant at her funeral mass Fr Oscar O’Leary told mourners at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne that Santina was a happy child who was cherished by her family. 

She is survived by her parents Bridget and Michael and her siblings Candice, Michael, Patrick and Thomas.In a statement issued after the mass the family said that they would forever mourn the loss of their precious Santina.

They also expressed gratitude to members of the public who raised funds through a Go Fund page which paid for the funeral.

A woman has appeared before the courts charged with the murder of the toddler.

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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