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13.35 18 Dec 2020


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The State has apologised to Joanne Hayes for what was described in court as "the truly appalling hurt and stress" caused to her and her family.

The apology, which was read out in the High Court today, brings an end to proceedings aimed at vindicating her good name once and for all.

Ms Hayes was wrongly charged with the murder of a baby found on a beach in Co Kerry in 1984.

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Outside court after certain declarations were approved this afternoon, her solicitor Patrick Mann, addressed the media on her behalf.

He said: "She asked me to say: I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and my family to acknowledge all those who have supported us over the past 36 years.

“I would particularly like to thank my friends who with their support and kindness gave us hope and strength through the darkest moments of this ordeal.

“Throughout the years the kindness and sense of community we have experienced has helped us through the most challenging moments of the period.

“It is my sincere hope and belief that after 36 years the suffering and stress of this ordeal is now finally behind us.”

Garda apology

In 2018, Gardaí have apologised to Ms Hayes for their treatment of her in the Kerry Babies case.

They also launched a fresh appeal for information into the murder of ‘Baby John’ who was found on a beach in Cahirciveen in April 1984.

He had suffered multiple injuries, and is believed to have been five days old when he was killed.

Joanne Hayes, 25 years of age at the time, was arrested and confessed to the baby’s murder but later withdrew it.

Gardaí confirmed a viable DNA profile has conclusively stated Ms Hayes is not Baby John’s mother.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast today, journalist Michael O’Regan, who has written a book on the case, said an apology was "well overdue".

State apologises for 'truly appalling hurt and stress' caused to Joanne Hayes

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Reporting by Frank Greaney

Main image: File photo of Joanne Hayes. Credit: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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