Santina Cawley remembered as “little fighter” by mother 1 month ago

Santina Cawley remembered as “little fighter” by mother

38-year-old Karen Harrington has been found guilty of murdering the toddler.

Santina Cawley O'Donoghue's mother has said she was "loved and adored" by her family from the moment they saw her.


She said her two-year-old daughter was the baby of the family and was "cherished and spoiled by us all", especially her grandmother.

On Monday, 38-year-old Karen Harrington was found guilty of murdering the toddler and sentenced to life in prison.

On 5 July 2019, Santina was found with severe injuries by her father on the floor of Karen Harrington's apartment at Elderwood Park on Cork's Boreenmanna Road.

She was rushed to hospital, but tragically died four hours later. She had suffered a brain injury and trauma to her body inflicted by blunt force.


In her victim impact statement, Ms O'Donoghue also said her daughter had been a premature baby, but was a "hardy, determined and a little fighter".

"She loved her trips to town with me and her Nana on a Wednesday," she said. "She would hop into the buggy and knew the routine.

"She was very cute for her age. She was clever and very bright. She knew all the names of the Teletubbies and was a happy child.

"She was an old soul, she seemed to be here before. She brought so much joy to our family, and her brothers and sister adored her."


Ms O'Donoghue also described the day of Santina's death, saying she could not believe the condition her child was in when she saw her in the hospital.

"The day Santina passed away she took part of me with her. I am devastated, my heart is in pieces and that hurt continues every day.

"So many times I have wished I could turn the clock back, the disbelief that this could have happened haunts me every day."

Ms O'Donoghue continued: "I want to get justice for my daughter, it will be the last thing I can do for her.


"I hope in her short life she will remember how much she was loved and adored by me and her brothers and sister, and the bond she shared with her Nana.

"When I handed Santina over, I thought she would be safe, I never thought this would be the last time I would see her alive.

"I feel angry at the accused, Karen Harrington, who murdered my baby. I continuously ask myself how could someone be so cruel to a two-year-old, a soft and gentle soul? How can you hurt a baby like this?"