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Kerry Babies: Gardaí exhume remains of baby boy as part of investigation into his death in 1984

The remains of Baby John were discovered on a beach in Cahersiveen in 1984.

Valentia Island
Valentia Island
Image: DPA/PA Images

GARDAÍ TODAY EXHUMED the remains of Baby John whose body was discovered on a beach in Kerry in 1984.

Baby John was found with multiple injuries on White Strand beach in Cahersiveen on April 14 1984.

In 2018, gardaí took DNA samples from locals in the Cahersiveen region in the hope that they could track down the baby’s family. 

In 2018, gardaí confirmed that a formal apology was offered to Joanne Hayes for the stress and pain she was put through as a result of the original investigation. She had wrongly been accused of murdering the baby.

In a statement this evening, gardaí said the baby’s remains were taken to the morgue at University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, Kerry for examination as part of the ongoing investigation.

A garda spokesman said the exhumation “commenced at first light and was conducted on foot of a ministerial order granted in accordance with the Coroners Act 1962 as amended”.

The baby’s remains have since been re-interred at Holy Cross Cemetery.

“Investigating Gardaí continue to believe that there are members of the public who have information in relation to the death of Baby John in April 1984 and we are appealing to those people to come forward and help us,” the garda spokesman added. 

In December 2020, Joanne Hayes received a State apology in the High Court today owing to what happened to her in what became known as the Kerry Babies case.  

Ms Hayes was accused of being the mother of the baby boy found stabbed to death on a beach in Cahersiveen 36 years ago.

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A High Court judge said at the time the findings made in the original Tribunal of Inquiry against Ms Hayes and members of her family were unfounded and incorrect.

The family secured declarations from the court that all findings or wrongdoing made against them by the tribunal were unfounded and incorrect.

The court also said their questioning, arrest, charge and prosecution in 1984 were unfounded and in breach of their constitutional rights.

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