Grim discovery one of three in seven years
SUNDAY'S discovery of the remains of an unidentified baby on Rossbeigh beachwas the third such incident in Kerry in the last seven years.
The Rossbeigh incident is different in that the mother has since made thebrave step of contacting the gardaí. However, the mothers never came forwardin the other two cases.
Five years ago the body of an infant was found on the beach in Waterville.It was later buried without being claimed by its mother.
And in 1993 the remains of a baby boy were found near Listowel racecourse.These too were never claimed and were buried locally.
The discovery of the body of a baby boy on Rossbeigh beach at the weekendwill also have reawakened memories of the discovery of a dead baby on abeach in Cahersiveen in 1984 which culminated in the Kerry Babies Tribunal.
The Kerry Babies case started with the discovery of the body of a baby boyon White Strand in Cahersiveen. The remains bore evidence of stab woundsto the chest and lower torso.
Within weeks of the discovery Abbeydorney woman Joanne Hayes was interviewedby Gardaí after it became known that she had given birth to a baby but thatno child had been identified. She claimed her baby was buried on her farmin Abbeydorney.
Joanne Hayes was charged with the murder of the Cahersiveen baby on May1, 1984. The following day the Abbeydorney baby was discovered on the familyfarm.
The murder charge and related charges were dropped in Tralee District Courton October 10, 1984. A subsequent tribunal, chaired by Judge Kevin Lynch,concluded that Joanne Hayes was the mother of the Abbeydorney baby but notof the Cahersiveen baby.
The true mother of the Cahersiveen baby has never been identified and no-onehas ever been charged with his murder.
The Kerry babies case brought about a significant change in the manner inwhich Gardaí deal with the discovery of the remains of newborn children.There was a move away from treating such discoveries as murder cases, towardsa far more sympathetic approach, as demonstrated by this current tragiccase.