FG Senator welcomes examination of Kerry babies tribunal report

Joanne Hayes wrongly charged with the murder of ‘Baby John’, says Paul Coghlan

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan has welcomed the Government's decision to examine the controversial findings in the Kerry babies tribunal report.

He told the Seanad on Wednesday that consideration was being given to appointing a senior counsel or retired judge to assess the findings with a view to having them quashed or set aside.

“As we all know, this was a botched investigation by the Garda at the time,’’ said Mr Coghlan.

The matter was discussed by the Cabinet on Tuesday and it was decided Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan is to consult further with the family of Joanne Hayes before deciding its approach to the controversy.


Ms Hayes received an apology from An Garda Síochána and the State last week about the investigation into the discovery of a baby's remains on the White Strand beach near Cahersiveen in April 1984.

Mr Coghlan said the apology to the Hayes family was proper.

“Joanne Hayes was wrongly charged with the murder of Baby John, who was stabbed 28 times and found on the White Strand, a crime she had nothing whatsoever to do with,’’ he added.

“The tribunal’s findings can no longer stand in the light of these events.’’

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times