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Man and woman released without charge after arrest over 1984 killing – The Irish Times


A man and a woman have been released without charge after being arrested in relation to the 1984 ‘Kerry babies’ case.

The man (60s) and woman (50s) were arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of murder.

The infant, named “Baby John”, was found on White Strand beach in Cahersiveen with 28 stab wounds on April 14th, 1984.

The woman was taken to Castleisland Garda Station for questioning while the man was taken to Listowel Garda Station for questioning and both were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours.

It is believed they were identified by gardaí after they received a positive match with a DNA sample as part of the Cold Case Review of the murder launched in 2018.

The woman was released from custody shortly before 7.30pm on Friday. The man was released early on Saturday morning. Gardaí said a file would now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The solicitor representing both, Padraig O’Connell, said his clients had protested their innocence throughout the interviews which were conducted with their legal representatives present.

“Obviously they are totally denying the allegation of murder, which is what they are arrested for,” he said.

Gardaí have made numerous appeals for information in the intervening years about the so-called Kerry babies case, insisting there are still members of the public with important information regarding his death.

A fresh investigation was opened at the beginning of 2018 following a Garda apology to Kerry woman Joanne Hayes, who had been wrongly accused of the murder.

Three years later, gardaí in Kerry exhumed the infant’s remains for the purposes of obtaining a DNA sample. The child’s parents have never been identified.

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