Santina Cawley’s father: 'I will be haunted by this horror for the remainder of my life' 

“When I look at some of her clothes and toys in her bedroom it breaks my heart. I miss the sound of her sweet little voice, her laugh, her smile, her beautiful blue eyes, and red hair." 
Santina Cawley’s father: 'I will be haunted by this horror for the remainder of my life' 

Michael Cawley, father of Santina Cawley,   after the verdict was announced in Cork today. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

The father of two-year-old murder victim Santina Cawley has said he will be haunted by her murder for the rest of his life. 

Karen Harrington was today convicted of the murder of the Cork toddler. 

“SANTINA was a beautiful, happy, friendly, caring, fun-loving” two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Michael Cawley said in his victim impact statement.

“She enjoyed life — always smiling. She loved life, everyone loved her. She brought joy to my heart.

“She was my pride and joy. I will always be so proud of her.

“When I look at some of her clothes and toys in her bedroom it breaks my heart. I miss the sound of her sweet little voice, her laugh, her smile, her beautiful blue eyes, and red hair.

“She loved music, playing with her dolls, and her sisters and brothers.

“She loved being involved with everything that was happening around her, folding clothes and helping around the house.

“Santina’s birthday was on May 6. It breaks my heart to visit her grave. All I have now are heavenly birthdays and memories. These beautiful memories can never be taken from me.

“Since Santina was taken from this world I feel my life can be described as mental torture. This is honestly the worst thing any parent can go through. I would not wish this on any family.

“I am so lucky to have had this beautiful little girl as a daughter in my life. I will always cherish these special two-and-a-half years.

“Santina was brutally murdered. The worst thing was finding her disfigured body under a blanket.

“I will be haunted by this horror for the remainder of my life. This is beyond words — I have no words.

“The trial is a difficult process, having to sit and listen to graphic details of what happened to Santina, but it is a necessary one.”

Michael Cawley thanked medical staff, gardaí, and the many people who sent their prayers and kind thoughts.

In particular, he thanked Garda liaison officer Carol Ann O’Callaghan, Sergeant Brian Maher, Detective Garda Cormac Crotty, Margaret Lucey of Support after Homicide, and mental health worker John Walsh.

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