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Gardai go house-to-house for 'Baby John' answers


Gardai on Valentia Island

Gardai on Valentia Island

Gardai on Valentia Island

Gardai are hoping a canvass of an entire island off the Kerry coast will lead to fresh information and help solve the murder of 'Baby John' 34 years ago.

A team of 20 detectives and uniformed gardai arrived on Valentia Island yesterday to carry out door-to-door enquiries at more than 400 homes.

Gardai from the Serious Crime Review Team and the Kerry Division were involved.

The enquiries are expected to last a number of days, and gardai said similar operations in specific areas may be carried out in the future.

The body of Baby John was discovered on White Strand Beach in Caherciveen, Co Kerry, on April 14, 1984.

A post-mortem examination carried out by the then State pathologist John Harbison estimated the infant was around five days old.

He had been stabbed 28 times, with four of the wounds penetrating his heart.

A source told the Herald the canvass of Valentia Island was not the result of any specific intelligence.

Earlier this year, gardai announced that the SCRT had commenced a cold case review of the murder. Part of the investigation has involved selective DNA samples being taken from people within the locality.

Superintendent Flor Murphy of Killarney Garda Station said "significant work" has been undertaken since last January.


"Over 9,000 investigative hours have been expended on the investigation and 225 separate lines of enquiry are being actively progressed," he said.

"Selective DNA sampling is ongoing and this is a key focus of the investigation.

"The investigation is still appealing for information from the public. We still believe that members of the community in south Kerry have information about the identity of the mother of Baby John. Baby John lived for five days so someone, somewhere, knows about his very short life.

"Someone is Baby John's mother. Someone is Baby John's father. Someone knew his mother or father. People have carried a lot of pain and hurt over the last 30 years.

"This is an opportunity for them to help bring closure to this terrible event and ensure that Baby John receives justice.

"Please help us find that truth for Baby John."

Last January, gardai confirmed they had obtained "a viable DNA profile" from Baby John.