The burial without warning of a baby girl who was found on a beach in Balbriggan last December has shocked the local community.
Baby Belle was laid to rest in the Angel’s Plot at Glasnevin Cemetery without any ceremony or mourners to accompany her tiny coffin on its last journey.
The female infant’s lifeless body was discovered on Bell’s beach ten days before Christmas and locals held a candlelit vigil for her and her mother. Provisional plans had been put in place to bury her in the locality.
Cllr Grainne Maguire (Ind) said she was “shocked and saddened” to hear that baby Belle had been given a pauper’s burial as ‘unnamed baby’, adding: “She deserved to be buried in a dignified manner.”
There was some confusion over Belle’s final resting place on Wednesday when Dublin Gazette requested an update from Gardai.
After initially saying her body was still under the care of the coroner’s office and that the investigation was ongoing a garda spokesperson later confirmed the newborn had been buried in Glasnevin.
It is understood that the local community had worked with Fingal County Council, A Little Lifetime Foundation and a local undertaker and their intention had been to bury Belle in Balbriggan.
A local authority spokesperson said: “Fingal County Council was approached by members of the Balbriggan community to facilitate the burial of Baby Belle, which it agreed to do.
Cllr Malachy Quinn (SF) said the local community had taken Belle to their hearts and they wanted to keep her close by so her mother could visit her final resting place.
Belle’s tiny body was found by a local volunteer cleaning up Bell’s beach on a Saturday morning last December. The discovery prompted locals to hold a candlelit vigil as officers appealed for the mother to come forward.
Gardai believe little Belle was left on the beach less than 24 hours after her birth. No one ever came forward to claim the child despite a public appeal and assurances that the mother would be treated with care and compassion.
Speaking at a press conference in the days after the grim discovery, Garda Sergeant Fiona Savidge from Balbriggan Garda Station thanked people in “the general area for the assistance”.
Close to tears she revealed that the baby had been named Belle “because of where she was found and because it means beautiful”.