Thursday, July 02, 2015

Missing child scare ends happily

A scare about a missing child in Kilcullen this afternoon ended happily when the 3-year-old girl was found safe in a bed in her home, writes Brian Byrne.

The child was believed missing from her mother's apartment in Millrace around 5pm, and the Garda were notified as well as local people and the Kilcullen Canoe Club.

There was a very quick and comprehensive community response, as well as swift action by the gardai on the scene very quickly. Many local people, including teenagers in the area, joined in the search in the town and along the bank of the Liffey close to where the girl lived. The owner of a small skiff (above) had just launched into the river when word came through that the child was found.

The apartment had been checked, but the child, who had been playing in the living area, wasn't noticed in the bedroom where she had apparently gone for a nap. Afterwards, apologising for the 'turmoil' and thanking everybody who turned out to help, the child's mother said she was sleeping in her sister's bed covered with a duvet.

"You couldn't say there was anyone there," she said. "Three people went around the house, but nobody spotted her. Her sister and her friend went upstairs later and saw her feet sticking out under the duvet. She apparently had stretched her legs. She doesn't sleep during the day unless really tired and in the car."

"It doesn't matter that there was an emergency called, it would be much worse if it hadn't been and there was a different outcome," responding gardai said afterwards, adding that the Garda helicopter had been tasked and would have been in the air only a few minutes after they were notified that the little girl was safe.

The happiest bottom line to any such story is that all's well that ends well. As this turned out to be.

(There's another story here. About community and response to emergency. I'll come back to that later. But thank you all in the meantime.)