Hayes ‘wants only to live life in peace’

Joanne Hayes, who was wrongly accused of the murder of Baby John, has welcomed an apology for what she went through, but her only request now is to be given privacy and allowed to live in peace, a family friend has said.

Hayes ‘wants only to live life in peace’

Kerry Fianna Fáil TD, John Brassil, said he had spoken to Ms Hayes and her only request is that she be able to “live the rest of her life in peace”.

“Joanne is a very private and gentle person... she has suffered and relived this nightmare for the last 34 years,” Mr Brassil told RTÉ Radio’s Drivetime programme.

He said at no time had Ms Hayes and her family mentioned compensation, but he added that he believed it was only just and proper that the State has offered it.

He said the reopening of the case caused huge concern for Ms Hayes and Tuesday’s apology was some consolation.

Meanwhile, the garda in charge of the renewed investigation into the baby’s murder has said DNA technology will “confirm or disprove” the parentage of the Kerry baby stabbed to death and found on a beach near Cahersiveen, 34 years ago.

A major review into the death was launched in Cahersiveen on Tuesday by gardaí after DNA results confirmed that Ms Hayes, who was once charged with the baby’s murder, could not be his mother.

DNA, an abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid, which contains the genetic code, can establish not just the parents of the baby, but the siblings, as well as grandparents and other relatives, gardaí explained at the press conference .

The cold-case review involves around 15 gardaí, including members of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team, as well as local gardaí. The team, which includes four female senior officers, is working from an incident room established in Cahersiveen garda station .

Supt Flor Murphy revealed yesterday that the viable DNA profile, from samples taken from Baby John in the course of the original investigation, had been obtained in the last number of months, following the decision to reopen the case earlier in 2017.

The first step was a review of the historical material, including that of the tribunal. All persons interviewed originally were to be re-interviewed, where possible. Gardaí may get information which would could see them seeking DNA samples.

“We are taking nothing for granted,” said Supt Murphy.

An investigation today would include looking at CCTV, mobile phones and other such technology, the senior garda said. He also stressed the experience of gardaí in the successful conclusion of investigations into murders and serious crime in recent years in the south Kerry area was being employed. The objective, which has no time scale, is to bring the matter to a resolution and DNA technology could be definitive.

“At the end of the day, a five-day old baby stabbed in a horrendous manner was left on the beach. We cannot lose sight of that. If that were to happen today, there would be outrage,” said Supt Murphy.

Unlike other victims, Baby John had no voice, and gardaí are appealing to the people of south Kerry to come forward and, in particular, to the parents of Baby John to come forward . Anyone doing so will be treated with sensitivity and compassion.

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