Irish mother despairs after vandals target grave of her murdered toddler in Co Cork

Irish mother despairs after vandals target grave of her murdered toddler in Co Cork

THE MOTHER of a toddler who was murdered in July has pleaded with vandals to stop targeting her daughter's grave.

Bridget O'Donoghue told the Neil Prendeville show on Red FM in Cork that she was heartbroken after finding her two-year-old daughter's grave senselessly vandalised.

Her daughter Santina Cawley was found with critical injuries at the Elderwood flat complex on Boreenmanna Road in Cork city on July 5. She was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she died a few hours later.

She was laid to rest in Kilcully cemetery in Co. Cork on July 12, and her mother says she goes and mourns regularly. But on a recent visit, she noticed to her horror, that the grave had been partially trashed.

"The wreath with daughter, sister ...the flowers were pulled out of them and the teddy bear. The rosary beads (on a temporary cross).

"There is no sign of them around. I have no enemies. I don't know who would do this. I don't understand it. I fixed it yesterday. It is right again now. I bought flowers and everything. It is a very cruel world."

It's is understood that an individual not known to the family has used a photograph of Santina as a Facebook profile picture, which has understandably left Bridget and relatives confused and upset.

"That is my baby. It is not their baby. Santina cannot rest. It is affecting me and my baby. I want her to rest in peace. Please leave her grave alone, and let justice happen for my baby.

"With the rest of the [Go Fund Me] funds I plan to buy a gravestone. A love-heart one," she added.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Santina at Cork University Hospital by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster. It indicated that the death was murder. The results were not released for operational reasons.

A woman has appeared before the courts charged with the murder of the toddler.