DNA results of couple arrested in Kerry Babies case to be included in file for DPP

The Irish Times has learned Gardaí took DNA samples from the couple which confirmed they are the parents of the infant

DNA results confirming a couple arrested last month are the parents of the Kerry Baby are to be included in a file that An Garda Síochána are preparing on the infant’s murder for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), The Irish Times has learned.

The couple, who are in their early 60s and late 50s, were arrested last month at a location in south Kerry for the murder of Baby John and were questioned for 24 hours about the killing of the infant, before being released without charge.

The Irish Times has learned Gardaí took DNA samples from the couple upon their arrest in Kerry on March 23rd last and rushed them to Forensic Science Ireland’s laboratory in Dublin which confirmed that the couple are the parents of the infant, named Baby John.

It is understood the results of the DNA samples were put to the couple at separate interviews at Listowel and Castleisland Garda stations but the couple made no admissions in relation to being the parents of the infant.


Their solicitor, Padraig O’Connell, said no DNA test results were put to his clients at interview and he said he was “very troubled by the synchronised leaking of information by gardaí which is unacceptable and deplorable”.

“I am saying that the results of the samples that were given on a voluntary basis by my clients at both stations, Castleisland and Listowel, were not put to them and there has been no contact by either the Gardaí or the State with either myself on behalf of my clients or my clients about them.”

The Garda Press Office on Friday declined to comment on the nature of the investigation, which is headed up by Supt Flor Murphy of Tralee Garda station and is being carried out by a cold case review team from the serious crime review team and local officers in the Kerry Garda Division.

“An Garda Síochána does not comment on the specifics of any particular line of inquiry or any criminal investigation. The investigation into the murder of Baby John is continuing and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions,” the press office said in its statement.

Immediately following the couple’s release, Mr O’Connell said they had made no admissions in relation to the offence for which they had been arrested, namely the murder of Baby John, and he urged the Gardaí to complete its file for the DPP as quickly as possible.

“My clients absolutely and trenchantly deny the allegation of murder and there was not a scintilla of evidence put to them in interview that would substantiate an allegation of murder,” said Mr O’Connell, adding that he was confident that they would be fully exonerated.

A postmortem examination by State Pathologist on the remains of Baby John, which were washed up on White Strand near Cahersiveen on April 14th 1984, found he had suffered 28 stab wounds including four that pierce his heart as well as a broken neck.

A fresh investigation into the “Kerry babies” case began in 2018 following a Garda apology to Kerry woman Joanne Hayes, who had been wrongly accused of the murder.

In September 2021, as part of the cold case review, Gardaí exhumed the baby’s remains at Holy Cross Cemetery in Cahersiveen and DNA samples were taken for analysis.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times