Kerry Babies 1984

On 14 April 1984 a new born baby boy was found dead near Cahersiveen, County Kerry. The body was found abandoned about 3 miles from the town and the baby is believed to have died about 3 days previously.

The story that unfolded involved further infantile deaths, allegations of murder and police corruption, and a tribunal. The Kerry Babies Tribunal raised many questions about corruption within the Garda Síochana as well as the treatment of unmarried mothers in Irish society at the time.

The Kerry Babies Tribunal was established to enquire into the events surrounding Joanne Hayes's confession to the murder of a baby found on Cahirciveen beach. A second dead baby was subsequently found on the Hayes family farm in Abbeydorney, County Kerry. All charges against Joanne Hayes and her family were dropped. The tribunal set out to enquire into the circumstances around Joanne Hayes's confession.  

The accompanying photograph shows Tralee Courthouse where the tribunal took place.

Hayes Family Farm, Kerry

The Hayes family farm in Kerry, 1985 © RTÉ Archives 0866/064 

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