Two suspects have been arrested on suspicion of murder over the death of a newborn boy found on a beach almost 40 years ago in the now infamous “Kerry Babies” case.
The five-day-old baby, known as Baby John, was found with multiple stab wounds inside a bag washed up on the Kerry coastline in April 1984.
A man in his 60s and a woman in her 50s were detained on suspicion of murder in the Munster region on Thursday.
A Gardai statement said: “This evening, Thursday 23 March 2023, Gardai arrested two people, a male in his 60s and a female in her 50s, in relation to the discovery of the body of a male infant at White Strand, Caherciveen, County Kerry on 14 April, 1984.
“They were arrested in the Munster region on suspicion of the offence of murder and are currently detained at Garda Stations in the south of the country under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.”
Joanne Hayes who was believed to be John’s mother and arrested and charged after the shocking discovery was exonerated by virtue of DNA profiling that confirmed that she was not the infant’s mother.
The charge was dropped and a tribunal was launched to investigate the Gardai’s handling of the case.
A resolute determined Hayes who doggedly defiantly maintained her innocence amidst the tide of public condemnation for years, received an apology from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister Charlie Flanagan and An Garda Siochana in 2018.
The Garda Kerry Division has since conducted an “extensive” investigation, supported by the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.
Hundreds of interviews have been held with more than 560 lines of inquiry initiated.
Baby John’s remains were exhumed in September 2018 and taken to the morgue at University Hospital Kerry in Tralee for examination.
They were reinterred and hee is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Caherciveen.
Lead investigator Superintendent Flor Murphy said: “The arrests are a significant development in this investigation in an effort to establish the truth surrounding the death of Baby John in 1984 and deliver justice for Baby John.
“I am again appealing to the public for any information in relation to the death of Baby John in 1984.
“Anyone who comes forward will be treated with sensitivity and compassion.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 667 1160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.