Hundreds gathered in the town square in Balbriggan on Wednesday night in support of a mother whose dead baby was found on the beach last Saturday.
Tears flowed as candles were lit for baby Belle, the infant girl whose lifeless body was discovered by a volunteer cleaning up Bell’s Beach at the weekend. Amid fresh calls for her mum to seek assistance, there has been an outpouring of compassion and sympathy, with locals posting messages of support on social media platforms.
Sinn Fein Cllr Malachy Quinn told Dublin Gazette: “It has touched the town. People were looking for an opportunity to show support for the mother
“We wanted to come together to reach out to her and also to remember baby Belle.”
The National DNA Database is now being consulted in a bid to trace Belle’s mother.
Belle was discovered wrapped in a cloth and was left on the beach to be found, not to be buried, according to sources.
A post-mortem examination showed that the baby was full-term and stillborn. She had been on the beach for less than 24 hours before being discovered.
Garda Sergeant Fiona Savidge and Eilidh McNab, North Dublin manager for Child and Family Agency Tusla, appealed to the mother to come forward for help.
There has been an outpouring of support on social media.
One local woman, Laura Horohan, posted a poignant message on Facebook and allowed us to share it.
She said: “To baby Belle’s mammy. As a bereaved mother myself, please reach out to someone. You can speak to Feilecain or A Little Lifetime, who can help you through this.
“You are not alone, and you will never be alone. Your beautiful daughter is with you and forever will be. No one is judging you, we all just want to know that you are safe and being looked after.
“Giving birth is never easy and [you] need to be cared for. Please, please let us know you are okay. To Belle: Fly high with the butterflies.”
Former Health Minister and local GP James Reilly said: “There is a mother out there who is very distressed and who needs help. It is a time for care and compassion.”
Gardai said that the mother can call them in confidence at 1800 666 111. Tusla can be reached at 0818 776 315.