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Two arrested over death of baby boy found with stab wounds almost 40 years ago

Two suspects were arrested for murder in connection to the death of a baby boy who was found dead on a beach nearly 40 years ago.

Baby John, a five-day-old infant, was found with multiple stab wounds in a bag that was washed up along the coast of County Kerry, Ireland, in April 1984.

On Thursday, a man in his 60s was arrested along with a woman in her 50s for murder in the southern region Munster.

They are currently held in Garda stations in south Ireland.


Gardai stated that two men were arrested by Gardai on Thursday, 23 March 2023. One was a male in his 60s, and the other female in her 50s. They were being held in connection to the discovery of the remains of a male infant at White Strand in Caherciveen in County Kerry, 14 April 1984.

They were taken into custody in Munster on suspicion of murder.

This high-profile discovery was known as “Kerry Babies”.

State apologizes for the treatment of suspect

Joanne Hayes from the local area was suspected to be the mother of the baby and was charged and arrested after the body was discovered.

The charges were dropped and a tribunal was established to examine the Gardai’s handling.

Modern DNA profiling has confirmed that Ms Hayes wasn’t the infant’s mother.

Ms Hayes, who remained innocent, was offered an apology by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Charlie Flanagan, the justice minister, and An Garda Siochana, the national police service in 2018.

The force also announced that it was conducting a review of the death of the baby in the same year.

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Since then, the Garda Serious Crime Review Team has supported the Kerry Division of the force in conducting an “extensive investigation”.

With more than 560 lines for inquiry, hundreds of people were interviewed.

Baby John’s remains were exhumed on September 2018, and brought to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee, for examination. Later that afternoon, they were reinterred.

He is buried in Caherciveen at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Superintendent Flor Murphy, the lead investigator, stated that the arrests were a significant step in the investigation to determine the truth about the 1984 death of Baby John and bring justice to Baby John.

“I appeal to the public again for any information regarding the death of Baby John, 1984.

“Anyone who steps forward will be treated with compassion and sensitivity.”

Anybody with information should contact Killarney Garda Station at 064 667 1160 or the Garda Confidential line at 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.


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