The trial of Karen Harrington, who is charged with the murder of two-year old Santina Cawley in Cork in July, 2019, has heard from her next-door neighbour that he heard a child crying and being taunted in her apartment in the early hours of the morning.

Dylan Olney said he was alarmed and he called the gardaí because he thought there may have been a child in danger.

Ms Harrington, with an address at Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, in Cork, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Santina Cawley at an apartment in the city in July 2019.

Dylan Olney was a student in July 2019, living at Elderwood Park on Cork's Boreenmanna Road.

He described being in his apartment in the early hours of the morning of 5 July.

He said shortly after going to bed at around 2am, he heard a commotion on the walkway outside.

Mr Olney said the next thing he remembered hearing was an "almighty commotion", with things getting broken and thrown around.

The noise was coming from the apartment beside his, where Ms Harrington lived.

He said it was like someone having a tantrum and went on for around 20 minutes. Mr Olney said he went out the back door of his apartment and he could see Karen Harrington opening and closing her sliding door "over and over" repeatedly.

He said he called her "a dingbat" and swore, and he told her she had better stop or he would call the guards. He said she told him repeatedly to call the gardaí.

Mr Olney said it went on for around half an hour and he was "a bit creeped out".

Ms Harrington knocked at his back door asking for a light for a cigarette, he said, but he closed the door and would not deal with her.

He said the next thing he heard alarmed him. It was a child crying in the apartment next door. He said he was concerned, because he did not think a child should be in that situation.

Mr Olney said the walls were thin and he could hear the child being taunted.

He said he could hear the baby being told to stop or shut up. He said that was not how to comfort a crying child. He said it was the opposite.

He said he called the gardaí because he thought there may be a child in danger.

Mr Olney rang Anglesea Street Garda Station in Cork at 4.31am and the "taunting" he heard was just before that.

Gardaí arrived at 4.52am. He said the place was quiet when the gardaí arrived.

Mr Olney said he met two gardaí. They knocked on the door and on the window of the apartment, but got no reply. They said they could not go in because they did not have a warrant.

Mr Olney said he heard someone coming along the walkway outside the apartment when it was bright and he recognised the man, as he was "connected with" Ms Harrington.

Ms Harrington had been involved in a relationship at the time with Michael Cawley, Santina's father.

Mr Olney said he asked him what was going on. He said Mr Cawley said he did not know.

He said Mr Cawley seemed to be happy enough, relaxed and did not seem to be inebriated.

Minutes later Mr Cawley burst into his apartment, he said, saying his child was dead and asking him to call an ambulance.

He said Mr Cawley was calm at first, but then began roaring: "My baby's dead; my baby's dead."

Mr Olney said he called gardaí and an ambulance.

He said Mr Cawley "couldn't be consoled".

As soon as Mr Cawley started shouting, Mr Olney said he could see Ms Harrington running.

He said he saw her again when she arrived back at the apartment in the passenger seat of a small, silver hatchback car.

Mr Olney said he was not aware that Mr Cawley had arrived back at the apartment earlier, at around 3am.

Karen Harrington (Pic: Cork Courts)

Earlier another witness told the court they heard arguing and the sound of glass smashing coming from the accused's apartment.

Karen Harrington, with an address at Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, in Cork, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Santina Cawley at an apartment in the city in July 2019.

The trial heard from a neighbour who spoke to Ms Harrington in the early hours of the morning that Santina died.

Witness Aoife Niamh McGaley lived in an apartment at Elderwood Park, near Ms Harrington's apartment.

She said she had known Ms Harrington since they were teenagers.

Ms McGaley said she got a phone call from Ms Harrington at 1.27am on the morning of 5 July to let her into the apartment block, as she had forgotten her keys.

She said Ms Harrington sounded tired.

Ms McGaley said Ms Harrington must subsequently have found her keys as she heard her come in.

She said she was pottering in her apartment when she heard arguing and said the voices were muffled.

The witness said some time after that she heard Ms Harrington screaming and figured it must have been her apartment. She said Ms Harrington was arguing with someone with a deep voice. She said she also heard glass smashing.

She said she went to Ms Harrington's apartment. She said she could hear Ms Harrington saying: "I will tell, I will tell."

Ms McGaley said she banged on the door and Ms Harrington asked if that was the gardaí, and she opened the door after about a minute.

She said she looked very distressed and upset. She said her face was marked and her hair looked like it had been torn down, like someone had pulled it.

The witness also said she noticed a statue in the hallway that Ms Harrington was very fond of. She said it was smashed.

Ms McGaley said Ms Harrington kept apologising and said she was going to go to bed. She said she did not see anyone else in the apartment, but she was not happy about the situation.

She said she got the impression that Ms Harrington was scared of something and she had a very uneasy feeling for her.

Meanwhile one juror has been excused from from further participation in the trial. The trial will now continue with 11 jurors.