Thirty Four Years Later


Joanne Hayes at the Kerry Babies Tribunal in 1985

“It is a matter of significant regret for An Garda Síochána that it has taken such a long time for it to be confirmed that Ms Hayes is not the mother of Baby John

On behalf of An Garda Síochána, I would like to sincerely apologise to Ms Hayes for that, as well as the awful stress and pain she has been put through as a result of the original investigation into this matter, which fell well short of the required standards.”

Garda Superintendent Flor Murphy, this afternoon

Baby John’s body was found at White Strand in Cahersiveen, County Kerry on 14 April, 1984 with multiple injuries and had died from stab wounds. The discovery of the body of a second baby on a farm near Abbeydorney outside Tralee, led to a tribunal of inquiry.

Gardaí arrested Joanne on the grounds that she had been pregnant by two different men and gave birth to both babies.

Gardaí apologise to Joanne Hayes for stress and pain over Kerry Babies case (RTÉ)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

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68 thoughts on “Thirty Four Years Later

  1. Friscondo

    I ran out of west of Ireland in 1987 for London. It was such a depressing, corrupt, priest ridden, poverty stricken “shithole”. This case sums it all up. Joanne Hayes had the full force of the state thrown at her and it made me ashamed to be Irish, not to mention the depressing tit for tat pointless violence going on in the six counties. Thankfully we’ve moved on, but that apology is way too little, way too late.

      1. Nigel

        They have finally admitted that a woman can’t have twins by two different men. That seems like a step in a general sort of right direction.

        1. Topsy

          What has the reprehensible Gerry O Carroll got to say now;
          and how did her entire family give the same statements when interviewed by the Gardai in different rooms.
          As we can see (from McCabe) nothing has changed with the Garda behaviour all these years later. Rotten to the core.

        2. Barry the Hatchet

          In fact it is possible for twins to have two different fathers. It’s just incredibly unlikely and was clearly a ridiculously outlandish theory in this case.

      2. Friscondo

        Yes. I’m back 20 years now. Unless you lived through it, it’s hard to convey the awfulness of it.

        1. Narky Anne

          Is your name Joanne Hayes? Yeah? No? because, if not, I am fairly freaking sure you have no idea of the true awfulness of it.

    1. Martco

      yeah I have to laugh at the apology concept…and we haven’t moved on where the Guards are concerned not one bit…look to Maurice McCabe for proof of that!

      younger readers might research this case a little to see just what your police force have been up to over the years and you’d be inclined to suspect we get to see literally the tip of that iceberg

    2. Otis Blue

      Such a grim decade. To which you can add Ann Lovett, the Stardust, chronic unemployment, sky high interest rates and so much more besides.

      There was a great documentary by a young Alan Gilsenan of and about those times called, I think “The Road to God Knows Where”. Love to see it again but it seems to have disappeared completely.

      Anyone remember Self Aid?

      1. Bertie Blenkinsop

        Euro ’88
        Hounds of Love
        Ferris Buellers Day Off
        The Young Ones
        The Smiths
        Live Aid
        It wasn’t ALL bad….

      2. rotide

        That was a great documentary. Alan Gilsenen is one of Ireland’s greatest directors. He’s a supreme documentary maker.

      1. phil

        I hope you are right , but I dont think so , otherwise the questions now being asked, If Joanne Hayes didnt kill the baby, who did? Did the Gardai at the time suspect this person , why was the person not questioned again , and who directed that this person not be pursued?

        Im from the Area BTW…

    1. ReproBertie

      Rather than being embarrassed by the actions of the agents of the state why not take pride in the people who were protesting the treatment of Joanne Hayes 34 years ago?

  2. ahjayzis

    “Gardaí arrested Joanne on the grounds that she had been pregnant by two different men and gave birth to both babies.”

    Is that a joke? Did that actually happen?

    1. Nigel

      It was a point of serous investigation by the police and led to discussion and extended, brutal, questioning of Joanna Hayes in the tribunal. It was vile.

    2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Yup. Sex with two men on the same night can lead to twins with different blood types, see.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        doesnt have to be same night – – within same ovulation period will do it. and not that unusual, I don’t think. have a friend who has twins with different fathers.

          1. anne

            Best ignored… a thick fupp, as he calls his other personality. The mask slips every so often. More often than not really.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I’d say it’s PRETTY unusual. Heh. You make it sound like 1 in 3 twins are (is? are) superwhatsit types.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            1 in 400 sets of twins apparently, which, if correct, means it happens around 4 times every year in ireland

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            But more often than not it’s the same father, I’m guessing. How many of those are by different men? HOW MANY?

          3. Brother Barnabas

            well they’re the supposed figures – so out of every 400 sets of twins, 399 come from same father, 1 set has different fathers. there are around 1500 sets of twins born every year in Ireland, so around 4 every year are heteropaternal superfecundation.

          4. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Interesting knowledge, I mean.
            You’re not the only one clocking information.

          5. Cian

            thanks BB!
            Wow, it also says that “it is estimated that at least one dizygotic (DZ) twin maternity in twelve is preceded by superfecundation (the fertilization of two ova by sperm from different coitions). ” e.g. same dad, just different times.

  3. the bottler

    Some libel cases arose out of this and some Gardai (Gerry O’ Carroll ?) were awarded damages for libel can we have a review of this now?

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    I wonder will Gerry O’Carroll apologise? He’s been earning money off this case and his belief in Ms Hayes’ superfecundation for 34 years.

  5. Sheik Yahbouti

    Grim, just sodding grim. I remember it well, and the utter disbelief that such crap was happening in my country. The Gardai say “those were different times”!! This was 1984 not 1884, and we should overlook how a bunch of peones were bullied and beaten into a false confession? As for that absolute arse Gerry Carroll and his “superfecundity”!! Christ, why didn’t I just emigrate then. Mind you, given the shenannigans in the Disclosures Tribal – right now – how much has actually changed?

    1. scottser

      They had that whole ‘moving statues thing, the popes visit etc around the same time. I remember the 80s as seriously paranoid and speaking out against the church got you fupped. That poor girl never stood a chance against those religious nutters.

    2. anne

      Different times huh.

      & yet they’re still at the same carry on with Maurice McCabe.

      I’m appalled at the lack of coverage by RTE btw. 2018 & they’re still a shower of corrupt little gombeens.

      They’ll never get their act together with no proper oversight.

  6. Gringo

    The policy for solving difficult cases is to decide on a culprit and then set out to make a case. The Ian Bailey case is an example, and shows that the guards are as backward as ever.

  7. Truth in the News

    The Investigating Guards at ranks that are still alive need to be formally investigated
    and in particular the actions of the aptly entitled “Murder Squad”, there may be other cases
    The Guards are sitting on a dung heap and there was nothing to stop an effective DNA to be
    carried out years ago, why did it take till now….who’s covering up…when will Mr O’Connor make
    a statement or give press conference, perhaps that great scion of the INM news stable, Mr Rea who is so concerned about “fake news” would do an interview, did O’Connor write for INM “fake sheets” at some stage
    When will the family so wronged be properly compensated, if a guard or member of the establishment were wronged in the same way, they’d be handsomely compensated and it
    would not take 34 years.
    Any chance of sending the Guards down to Tuam and elsewhere to do some forensic work.
    or will they get there 34 years later.

  8. the bottler

    Perverting the course of justice is a common law offence. There are a number of Gardai alive today that have a case to answer. Will arrests follow? Will they fupp! or is there anyone in the force with balls.

  9. Still, Frill

    I’m still struggling with this
    Even after all this time

    I can manage to compartmentalise the lies and cúntology of AGS, even yer man O’Carroll cashing in

    But what I can’t control is my own distress for Joanne.

    giving birth in a field, losing her baby boy and then getting slapped around by those who should have been holding her hand and keeping her safe

    ….. Apologies my botty-boo
    Nothing will ever put it right

    You know Ann Lovett would have been 50 this year …..

  10. michael walsh

    It will also be another 34 years before the Sgt Maurice McCabe injustices and the Templemore Guarda College funds will be reconciled.
    RIP – Banana Republic
    sorry to say.

  11. Kdoc1

    I’m suspicious of the motives behind this Garda move. I’d like to know the reason for the apology at this time and the new investigation into baby John? The apology (and serious compensation) should have happened years ago.

    1. Paddy at the Howth Summit

      Obviously something imminent under the 30 year rule or to distract attention from upcoming “bad news” for “da force”, Dept of Justice, and so on. The timing is indeed, suspicious.

      1. Blonto

        Keep a close eye on the Disclosures Tribunal today. There must be something big happening.
        Although I had a quick look at the indo, rte and irishtimes websites and there’s NOTHING being reported. Unless it’s tucked away in a secret corner.
        Keep up the great reporting broadsheet…..otherwise we’d be in the dark.

  12. Catherine costelloe

    I wonder how they established baby was 4/ 5 days old? Had he been in sea since birth and the current washed him up? As for stab wounds couldn’t it have been sharp rocks?
    R.I,P John.

    1. ReproBertie

      “A post-mortem examination was carried out by the State Pathologist, Dr. John F. A. Harbison. It transpired in the course of this post-mortem examination that the baby had 28 stab wounds: four of these wounds had pierced the heart and there was other injuries, including a broken neck. There was no question of the stab wounds being accidental and it was quire clear that the Cahirciveen Baby had been deliberately killed.” – Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into “The Kerry Babies Case”, pg 27.

      “..on first view of the Cahirciveen Baby it did not seem as though it had been murdered. It looked more like a case of a stillbirth and the baby being thrown into the sea and the wounds on the baby being caused by sea creatures. It was only when Dr. Harbison opened the body of the baby in the course of his examination that it became apparent to him that the wounds were not caused by sea creatures, but were stab wounds.” same report, page 43.

      I think we can take it that Dr Harbison knew the difference between a stab wound and an injury from a sharp rock.

      1. Cian

        I’d hope so – but considering the incompetence[1] of the rest of ‘official Ireland’ I’d not hold my breath.

        [1] Ineptitude, malevolence, misogyny, pig-headedness

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