Santina Cawley: Garda tells court he found two-year-old lying lifeless in apartment of woman charged with her murder

37 year old Karen Harrington of Lakelands Cresent in Mahon is accused of murdering Santina Cawley at 26 Elderwood Park on Boreenmanna Road on the 5th of July 2019.

Garda David Tobin told the trial of Karen Harrington how he met her neighbour, Dylan Olney at the Elderwood complex shortly before 5.30am after Olney had phoned the Gardaí to say that there may be a dead baby in an apartment in the complex.

The court heard that Michael Cawley had asked Olney to contact the Gardaí when he discovered his daughter, Santina lifeless on the upper floor of the two storey apartment.

Garda Tobin says when he went into the living room he saw Santina Cawley lying on a quilt, she looked pale and she wasn’t breathing. He said it looked like she had been placed on the quilt.

He was giving evidence on the sixth day of the trial of Michael Cawley’s former partner, Karen Harrington who has denied the murder.

Garda Tobin told the jury how he met Santina’s father, Michael at the scene and he was totally distraught, crying ‘She killed my baby” but when he asked who ‘she’ was, Cawley did not seem to hear and just kept crying ‘She killed my baby’. “He was in total despair,” he said.

Paramedics from Cork City Fire Brigade, arrived at the scene and gave Santina oxygen before she was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she received further treatment before she was pronounced dead at 9.20am on July 5th.

Earlier today the trial heard that Karen Harrington had turned up at the home of her friend and said her partner had accused her of trying to suffocate his child.

Yvonne Walsh told the jury that she was smoking a cigarette outside her home in Blackrock between 5:30am and 6am on the night in question when she saw Karen walking towards her.

The witness said Harrington wasn’t wearing shoes and her feet were bleeding.

Harrington said “I don’t know what is after happening in my apartment” and told her friend that her then partner Michael Cawley said she had tried to suffocate his child.

Yvonne Walshe told Harrington to get into her car and the pair drove back to the Elderwood apartment complex.

Walshe told the court that Gardaí and the ambulance service were already at the scene.

She also said she had known Harrington all her life and that she was someone whom she trusted completely.

Sister of the accused Michelle Harrington also gave evidence that Karen Harrington had assumed the role of parent to her three younger siblings when she was a teenager amid difficulties in the family.

The case continues.





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