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(File image) The man was arrested at the passport office in South Mall in Cork the previous day Alamy Stock Photo

Gardaí trying to establish identity of man arrested with birth certificate of dead baby

The man allegedly attempted to use the name of a baby, who died in 1953, to apply for a passport in Cork.

GARDAÍ HAVE INDICATED that they are working with Interpol in a bid to determine the identity of an elderly man who was arrested after he allegedly used the name of a baby who died in 1953 to apply for a passport in Cork.

Last Friday a man appeared before Cork District Court where he was charged in the name of Philip Frank Morris, of no fixed address, with a date of birth of December 1952.

He had been arrested at the passport office in South Mall in Cork the previous day. He was charged with two offences relating to allegedly providing false or misleading information in order to obtain a passport.

Det Garda Padraic Hanley of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation told the court that the man allegedly used the name of a baby, Philip Frank Morris, who was born in December 1952 but subsequently died to apply for a passport in Cork.

Det Garda Hanley said that when questioned the man said he was residing in Ireland and needed the passport to leave the country. Dt Sgt Hanley said the man did not cooperate with officers in any way.

He said the man held an Irish passport for three decades but only recently obtained a PPS number.

Judge Olann Kelleher remanded the man named as Philip Morris, aged 70, in custody until today.

Det Garda Hanley said in court that they “are making enquiries internationally with Interpol all over the world”.

He told Judge Kelleher that they had spoken to the brother of the late Philip Morris who died at the age of four months in 1953.

“We do not know who this gentleman is. We are making inquiries internally and with Interpol. We have a raft of enquiries going on at this stage.

He (the man in custody) is not Philip Frank Morris. He died at four months old. We have interviewed his brother.”

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said that his client wasn’t “in the first flush of youth” in terms of further remanding him in custody in relation to the charges.

The man, who is known only as Frank Morris, appeared in court by video link from Cork Prison. He did not speak during the brief hearing.

Det Garda Hanley said that it was impossible to give a timeline as to when the identity of the person in custody would become known. He said that further charges could be made in the case.

“It could be tomorrow (re-identifying the man), it could be two weeks. I feel there will be further charges as well.”

Judge Kelleher remanded the man in custody to appear before Cork District Court again on October 3rd next.

One of the charges relates to an unknown date between 12 and 25  September 2012, at the Passport Office on South Mall, Cork, and the application for the issue of a passport.

The particulars of the charge state that the man provided information for the issue of a passport which were false or misleading in a material respect and which he knew or believed were false or misleading or were reckless as to whether they were false or misleading.

The second charge is similar but refers to the date of 7 June, 2022.

Olivia Kelleher