Monday 23 July 2018

‘Kerry Babies’ case to be reviewed as DNA profile of baby established

Stock photo
Stock photo
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

His body was found with multiple stab injuries by a local man on a Co Kerry beach almost 34 years ago, but the death of 'Baby John' and the saga that became known as the 'Kerry Babies' case is not forgotten.

The Garda Síochána's cold case unit is reviewing the death of the infant, whose remains were found on White Strand beach, in Caherciveen, on April 14, 1984.

It was confirmed last night that a full DNA profile has now been established of the baby, which means investigators may be able to establish links between the dead infant and his parents and other family members.

At a media briefing later today, gardaí will reveal that it has been established that the baby is not a child of Joanne Hayes, who was initially suspected of being the mother.

Gardaí will make an appeal for information from anyone living in the area at the time.

The review is being conducted by investigating gardaí in Caherciveen, supported by the Serious Crime Review team.

Joanne Hayes: charges were dropped after blood tests
Joanne Hayes: charges were dropped after blood tests

The true identity of 'Baby John' has never been established, but the discovery on a beach led to the setting up of a tribunal of inquiry.

The investigation focused on several women in the area and a list was drawn up of anyone suspected of having been pregnant.

Women whose relationships had recently broken up or who were suspected to have been having an affair were also under suspicion.

Eventually, the investigation began to hone in on a single mother, Joanne Hayes, from Abbeydorney, more than 75km away in north Kerry.

Two weeks later, the body of another baby boy was uncovered on the Hayes farm. Ms Hayes had given birth but the baby died and was buried there.

Investigating gardaí suspected the Caherciveen baby also belonged to Ms Hayes and she and her family were brought in for questioning, and signed statements confessing one of the bodies had been hidden on the family farm and the other baby was stabbed and his body thrown in the sea at Dingle.

When blood tests revealed the baby found on the beach was a different blood group, the charges were dropped.

Irish Independent

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