Police have issued a heartfelt plea for the mother of a newborn baby girl whose body was found in a recycling depot to come forward.
A worker at the Greenstar waste plant outside Bray, Co Wicklow, came across what he thought was a doll while sorting rubbish on Wednesday morning.
On closer inspection he realised it was the remains of an unclothed baby.
Superintendent Pat Ward, who is in charge of the investigation, said he is concerned for the welfare of the baby’s mother as she is possibly in a distressed state and in need of medical attention.
“Our main focus is the mum of the baby girl,” he said. “Mum can be assured that if she contacts us we will be as caring as we can to her.
“We are making a heartfelt appeal for mum to contact us.”
Detectives do not yet know if the baby was born alive or still-born, but they believe it was a full-term pregnancy.
It is thought the death of the baby occurred recently.
State pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a preliminary examination where the baby’s remains were found. A full post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Thursday.
The recycling plant at Fassaroe, not far from the county border between Wicklow and Dublin, deals with waste from across the country.
“We don’t know what exactly happened leading up to the birth of the baby,” Mr Ward said.
“However, it is possible that the baby was still-born and if this is the case my priority now is to get all medical assistance and support to the baby’s mum.
“I am very concerned for the welfare of the mum of this baby as she is possibly in a distressed state and in need of medical assistance.
“I would please ask for the mum to seek immediate medical treatment.”
Mr Ward said he is also available to “help the mum and dad of this baby girl, and if they would contact me or Sergeant Sorcha Fitzpatrick here at Bray Garda Station we will deal with any contact with us discreetly and sensitively”.
The discovery was made at around 11am.
Staff at the recycling centre are said to have been left upset by the incident.
Gardai said they are working with the Health Service Executive and will return to the scene on Thursday to carry out a further examination around the waste where the body was found.
Greenstar confirmed it is helping investigators.
“We are supporting the gardai with their inquiries,” a spokeswoman said. “The company will not be making any statement regarding the incident.”
The recycling plant has a number of large sheds.
The garda operation appeared to be focused around one particular machine at the rear of one of the sheds.
Forensic detectives dressed in white overalls could be seen at the machine sifting through waste close to a conveyor belt.
A garda photographer was also present at the scene.