THE heartbroken mother of murdered toddler Santina Cawley has described the harrowing moment when she was told that her daughter had died.
Bridget O’Donoghue rushed to Cork University Hospital after hearing that two-year-old Santina had been seriously injured on Friday, July 5.
“They brought me into a private room and said ‘the child is dead’ - from there I broke down,” Bridget said, speaking to Virgin Media News.
“I said ‘what happened my baby?’ and they couldn’t give me an explanation,” she said.
She described how when the doctors gave her Santina to hold, the blanket she was wrapped in fell off, revealing heavy bruising on Santina’s leg.
Bridget also described other visible injuries on the two-year-old including a cut on her face and broken teeth.
“Her teeth were broken, her nose was cut, she had cuts everywhere.
“The back of her brain, the top of her head was dinged in. Her ears were black and blue.
“What animal could do that to a two-year-old baby?” she asked.
Bridget said that she now wants justice so that Santina can rest in peace.
“I want justice, I want the person, whoever did this to my baby to come forward. Please come forward.
“I want justice because I will never rest until I get justice, how could you rest? How could the baby rest?”
Santina was buried on Friday, following an emotional Mass of the Angels at the North Cathedral.
A letter from Bridget was read out at the funeral Mass by Fr Oscar O’Leary.
It said: “She was my angel. She always made me smile and laugh.
“She always knew what she wanted and she was very fond of the Teletubbies.”
Gardaí arrested a woman in her 30s last week, who is not related to Santina. She was later released without charge and a file will be prepared for the DPP.
They also issued a fresh appeal for information last week and are urging anyone who was in the Elderwood estate or Boreenmanna Road areas between 1am and 5.30am on July 5 to contact them.
Investigators are particularly appealing to those with dashcam or mobile phone footage from the area.
Santina was found in a critical condition at the Elderwood complex shortly after 5am on July 5.
She was rushed to hospital but later died from her injuries. A murder investigation was launched following an autopsy postmortem examination on the child’s body.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Station on 021 452 200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.