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‘Baby John’ remains exhumed for forensic exam by ministerial order
Kevin O'Higgins SC for the Attorney General and DPP Michael Moriarty SC for the Tribunal at Kerry Babies hearing Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

15 Sep 2021 / ireland Print

‘Baby John’s remains are exhumed for forensic exam

The remains of a new-born baby found dead on a beach almost four decades ago, have been exhumed as part of a renewed probe.

A full forensic examination of the baby's remains, using the latest forensic techniques, will now be carried out.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys signed a ministerial order for the exhumation, following a request by the South Kerry Coroner.

The body of ‘Baby John’ was found at White Strand beach in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, on 14 April 1984. The infant had suffered a number of stab wounds.

The exhumation took place at Holy Cross Cemetery, Cahersiveen, yesterday morning (14 September), on foot of a ministerial order.

The remains were taken to the morgue at University Hospital Kerry in Tralee, and were later reinterred yesterday afternoon.

Kerry gardai, together with the Serious Crime Review Team from Harcourt Square in Dublin, are conducting the probe.

A public appeal for information in relation to the baby's death has been launched.

A later discovery of the remains of a second baby, near Abbeydorney outside Tralee, led to a Tribunal of Inquiry in 1985 into the garda handling of the case.

The tribunal was set up after an Abbeydorney woman Joanne Hayes was questioned by gardaí about the baby found at Cahersiveen.

DNA sample

It found that Hayes was not the mother of the Cahersiveen baby, which was confirmed by a later DNA sample, retained from the post-mortem examination in 1984.

In January 2018, the Hayes family was awarded compensation from the State, reported to be in the region of €2.5 million.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 663 1222, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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