The family at the centre of the Kerry babies case believes tissue samples retained from one of the dead infants could dispel lingering doubts over their innocence in the child’s death.

Pat Mann, solicitor for Joanne Hayes and her family, says Ms Hayes would be willing to provide fresh blood samples if new tests were to be carried out.

He said that while the Hayes family had been cleared by the 1985 tribunal of inquiry into the events at Abbeydorney and Cahersiveen two years earlier, some doubts still hung over them.

“As far as we were concerned, when the initial report came out, we were 100% exonerated of the whole thing,” Mr Mann told RTÉ.

“However, there is an element that keeps going all the time, that makes the suggestion that we were still associated with that unfortunate child that was found in Cahersiveen.”

He said because the Cahersiveen case remained unresolved, tissue samples from the murdered baby should have been kept and were probably in a state laboratory somewhere.

DNA testing, which was not available at the time, could now be conducted with the dual result of removing all last traces of doubt about Ms Hayes’ involvement and finding the baby’s mother.

“Somebody out there carries this awful secret, this awful weight, and at some stage it’s going to have to be resolved from their point of view,” Mr Mann said.

The Kerry babies case arose out of the discovery of the body of a baby boy who had been stabbed to death on the beach at Cahersiveen in April 1983.

A botched Garda investigation pointed the finger at Ms Hayes, a single mother of one, who around the same time had sought medical help for a miscarriage but was found to have given birth to a full-term baby.

Her baby’s body, later determined to have been stillborn, was found in a field at the family farm in Abbeydorney where she said she had left him in a panic.

But Gardai persisted in the theory that the Cahersiveen baby was also hers, even though blood tests showed she would have to have had twins by two fathers.

Murder and conspiracy charges against the Hayes family were dropped, but the bizarre nature of the Garda investigation and claims of coercion in the family’s signing of false statements implicating themselves, led to the setting up of the tribunal.

The issue was recalled in the past week when state papers released under the 30-year-rule revealed the Garda Commissioner at the time was severely critical of the investigation team.

Mr Mann said his clients would co-operate with certain fresh tests but wanted no new inquiry. “The idea of going through the whole thing again from a trauma point of view and a distress point of view would not sit well,” he said.


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