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Friday 27 April 2018

Kerry Babies investigation: Solicitor for Joanne Hayes says latest developments 'confirm what we always knew'

‘Baby John’ was just five days old when his body was found with multiple stab wounds on White Strand in Caherciveen on April 14, 1984. Gardaí have apologised to Joanne Hayes (inset) for the stress the investigation caused
‘Baby John’ was just five days old when his body was found with multiple stab wounds on White Strand in Caherciveen on April 14, 1984. Gardaí have apologised to Joanne Hayes (inset) for the stress the investigation caused
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

The solicitor for Joanne Hayes – the woman at the centre of the Kerry Babies controversy – has said the investigation into the death of an infant near Caherciveen almost 34 years ago was a matter that had nothing to do with Ms Hayes or her family.

Patrick Mann said the recent disclosure that DNA evidence conclusively proved that Ms Hayes was not the mother of a baby boy whose dead body was found on White Strand on April 14, 1984, was nothing new to them.

Mr Mann said he had spoken to Ms Hayes, who informed him she had received a hand-delivered letter conveying the apology by Acting Commissioner, Dónall Ó Cualáin, on behalf of An Garda Síochána, followed by a follow-up phone call.

In his only lengthy interview, he told Radio Kerry’s Jerry O’Sullivan: “I can tell you the stance we’re taking on this is that it only really confirms what we always knew to be the situation.

“As I’ve always said in the past, these wonderful people, who come from a wonderful community, have enjoyed huge support, affection and love from the Abbeydorney people and that continues and will continue.

“Really all they want and all of us want is just our privacy to be accepted and acknowledged and leave us go about our daily lives.

“The emphasis now is something with which we have no connection and never had any connection.

“It’s a matter between the investigative authorities and some other people out there, who are involved in this very unfortunate incident going way, way back 34 years ago nearly, and that’s really the situation.

“We never really had anything to do with it and that’s been formally confirmed that we had nothing to do with it, and, as far as we’re concerned, what we want now is our privacy to be left to us.”

He said the gardaí were dealing with facts and part of those facts was Tuesday’s apology to Ms Hayes by An Garda Síochána.

“That has been done so let those who report these things deal with the core issue which is that unfortunate situation in south Kerry, which we said, all those years ago, had nothing at all to do with us.

“But there was a refusal to accept we had nothing to do with it and the tribunal (of inquiry) report confirmed we had nothing to do with it.

“Science back then came to our assistance that we had nothing to do with it. Further science today says we have nothing to do with it. What more do people need?"

Mr Mann continued that the Hayes family, whom he described as “wonderful people, who have lived wonderful lives” and had been “major contributors to society and their community” should just be left to their privacy.

“It’s not a huge demand to ask of anybody,” he added.

Mr Mann said he had lived through that time and it was “pretty hard”.

“The fact that we survived it all is not a tribute to me at all it’s a tribute to these wonderful people who were dealt with terribly and now they’re asking for a very simple thing, privacy. If people could just put that to the forefront of their minds it would mean a lot,” he said.

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