Belfast Telegraph

Concern for woman after foetus found in Donegal driveway

By Paddy Clancy

A woman who found a 13-week-old foetus near her home spoke of her shock last night.

Gardai have said they are concerned for the welfare of a mother after the foetus was discovered at Dunkineely in Donegal on Tuesday evening.

Sheila McCann, who has a home in Brenter, Dunkineely, and a holiday cottage next door, found the foetus in the separate gravel driveway leading to the cottage.

"I didn't know what it was at first and then when I realised what it might be, I raced across the road to my friend and she came out.

"I knew by her face when she looked down that she realised it was what we both feared it might be.

"I hadn't been to the cottage in four or five days so I really can't say how long it was there.

"But it rained the night before and there was nothing to indicate it was there before the rain fell.

"There was nothing else but the foetus. Whether it was carried there or some poor girl or woman had it there it's not possible to tell. A doctor was called and neither he nor the gardai could say how it got there. They were baffled."

Medical tests were carried out in Letterkenny General Hospital where doctors were able to establish how far into pregnancy the woman may have been.

A garda spokesman appealed for anyone with information to contact officers in Ballyshannon station, where the matter will be dealt with sensitively.

Supt Leo McGinn said: "The discovery was made just after the bank-holiday weekend so it is not possible to say at this stage whether the mother was local or a visitor.

"Our main interest is finding the mother and ensuring that she is properly cared for."

He added that doctors were checking patient lists, and the HSE had been notified.

"The HSE is aware of the garda investigation in the greater Dunkineely area but has no role in that process," a HSE spokesperson said. "The HSE is available to provide assistance and support to any individual if or when required."

Mrs McCann lives with her husband in Vietnam but frequently returns to their home in Brenter.

She said: "I was very upset by the discovery.

"Some girl or woman must be in distress. I hope she contacts the gardai. It was clear that the gardai were very sympathetic and only want to help her. I hope she gets in touch with them."

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