RTE viewers were horrified by the Kerry Babies scandal which featured on Monday night's episode of Crimes and Confessions.
The final epsiode of RTE 's gripping documentary series focused on the Kerry Babies scandal in 1984, which saw Joanne Hayes wrongfully accused of murdering a baby who was found washed up on a beach
The documentary series concluded tonight with an episode focused on allegations of Garda brutality, fabricated statements and forced confessions involving Joanne Hayes and her family.Joanne was wrongly accused of murdering a newborn baby who was found washed up on White Strand near Cahersiveen in Kerry in April 1984. Her family signed what they claimed were false statements confessing to a role in the baby’s death.
After Garda forensics revealed she could not have been the mother of the Cahersiveen baby, all charges were dropped.The story made national and international headlines, and the government of the time established a State Tribunal to investigate the actions of the gardaí involved.Read more: RSVP Magazine »
RTE Crimes and Confessions viewers glued to last episode on Kerry Babies scandalThe body of a newborn baby, who was later named John, washed up on White Strand in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, on April 14, 1984.
The harrowing story of the Kerry Babies scandal gripped the nationJoanne Hayes was falsely charged with the murder of a baby boy, and to this day the parents of the baby, who was baptised John, have never come forward to reveal what really happened
Interrogation detective in 'Kerry Babies' case denies existence of garda 'Heavy Gang'A former detective who worked on the Kerry Babies case and interviewed Joanne Hayes in the 1980s has lashed out at allegations of a so-called garda 'Heavy Gang' in operation at the time.
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RTE viewers were horrified by the Kerry Babies scandal which featured on Monday night's episode of Crimes and Confessions.RTE finished up it's Crimes and Confessions series on Monday night by putting a spotlight one of the most controversial cases in Irish history.On the evening of April 14, 1984, the body of a baby boy was discovered on White Strand, near Cahersiveen in Co Kerry.New RTÉ series highlights brutal treatment of innocent men by Garda 'Heavy Gang' Elsewhere in the programme, retired Detective Inspector Gerry O'Carroll - one of two detectives to personally interrogate Joanne Hayes - firmly denies any suggestion of a garda Heavy Gang or any heavy-handed methods by gardai.
The documentary series concluded tonight with an episode focused on allegations of Garda brutality, fabricated statements and forced confessions involving Joanne Hayes and her family. Joanne was wrongly accused of murdering a newborn baby who was found washed up on White Strand near Cahersiveen in Kerry in April 1984. For those of you who are unaware, here's a quick synopsis of the scandal. Her family signed what they claimed were false statements confessing to a role in the baby’s death. On April 30, Joanne Hayes, a single mother from Abbeydorney, came to gardaí's attention. After Garda forensics revealed she could not have been the mother of the Cahersiveen baby, all charges were dropped. A post-mortem examination carried out by the then state pathologist, John Harbison, in April 1984 estimated the infant was around five days old, the child had been dead for two days before his body was found by a local man. The story made national and international headlines, and the government of the time established a State Tribunal to investigate the actions of the gardaí involved." The Kerryman also gives some background into the questioning of suspects back then.
In December 2020, Judge Kevin Lynch’s Tribunal report was overturned and the Hayes family received a State apology and substantial settlement. A local woman, Joanne Hayes, was charged with the murder of baby John in May 1984. Her baby's body, who was stillborn, was found in a field at her family farm, where in a panic, she had left him. All of the gardaí involved in the case have always vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing. The show featured interviews with the Hayes' family solictor Pat Mann, who recalled his first meeting with Joanne after she was charged with murder in 1984. Tonight, during the final episode of Crimes and Confessions on RTE, we got another look at the case. "One Wednesday morning going to court I was barrelling up the steps into the hallway and somebody called me over said there was somebody in one of the consultation rooms that wanted to talk to me," he said. Gardaí believed Joanne was the culprit and she was eventually charged with the murder of the baby and family members were charged with concealing the birth of the child. "I just noted to myself how small and frail she was, when she was so upset. One person tweeted: "This is bizarre, and a terrible stain on our history A second added: "Scandalous what went on in Cahersiveen. It is no tea party to be interrogated for 48 hours.
.. What a grubby state Ireland was in the 80s. This was a major development in the case, and called into question the credibility of statements made by the Hayes family..the first thing she told me that they said they were charging her with the murder of her baby. Awful, salacious times. And of course in my head straight away I said this can’t be right. Another theory was that Joanne had twins by two different fathers, but this was not taken seriously." The former detective was part of the murder squad for five years.
" Retired Detective Gerry O'Carroll also appeared on the show to talk about interrogation methods during his time on the force, as well as dismiss rumours of a so-called Garda Heavy Gang. He said: “I deny the existence of a so-called Heavy Gang.. The tribunal attracted huge attention from the media and the public, with feminist and women's rights groups showing their support for Joanne.. we were good interrogators. "You have to understand the times [that] were in it.
Joanne Hayes and I got on like a house on fire. In December 2020, the tribunal report was overturned and the Hayes family received a State apology and substantial settlement. I was nice to that girl.” Get the latest RSVP headlines straight to your inbox for free by signing up to our newsletter Viewers were shocked to learn about what Joanne and her family had to go through. As well as that, many were saddened that the truth of what happened to the baby found on the beach, who was named John, was never revealed. Stunned viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One wrote: "Jesus #crimesandconfessions on @rte would make your blood boil." "Along with the shocking treatment of the Hayes family.. there is still the unsolved case of baby John murdered and a grieving mother in Joanne Hayes..
ashamed to be Irish tonight," a second viewer tweeted. "Absolutely incredible. What a grubby state Ireland was in the 80s," said a third. A fourth commented: "After nearly 40 years, and many years after reading everything about the case - still can’t suppress the outrage and horror of Kerry Babies," while a fifth added: "The absurdity of this is mind boggling." .