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Developments coming thick and fast in re-opened Kerry Babies case

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THE CASE has been cold for more than 33 years but the re-opened Kerry Babies investigation already appears to be gathering significant momentum.

The disclosure on Tuesday that DNA evidence has conclusively proved that Joanne Hayes was not the mother of Baby John has set in motion a sequence of events that have dominated the news all week.

Gardaí apologised to Ms Hayes for their handling of the case against her in 1984, during which the Abbeydorney woman claims she was coerced into confessing to the gruesome murder of a five-day old infant.

Speaking on behalf of the Gardaí, Superintendent Flor Murphy said it was a “matter of significant regret for An Garda Síochána that it has taken such a long time for it to be confirmed that Ms Hayes is not the mother of Baby John.”

“On behalf of An Garda Síochána, I would like to sincerely apologise to Ms Hayes for that, as well as the awful stress and pain she has been put through as a result of the original investigation into this matter, which fell well short of the required standards.”

The case was officially re-opened with Supt. Murphy reassuring the public that “this will be a thorough and professional investigation.”

On Wednesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apologised on behalf of the State, saying Ms Hayes was “badly treated by our State and by our society in a way that so many other women have been in the past and that needs to change".

"I can't offer compensation here now,” Varadkar continued, “but it's something that I think we can discuss with her representatives in the period ahead."

Later that day, the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, said that compensation should be dealt with in a manner that was “private… and speedy”.

Progress continued at a steady rate on Thursday as Gardaí announced that they are now seeking DNA samples from people in the Iveragh Peninsula in the hope of finding an elusive missing link.

Detectives have also appealed directly to Baby John’s mother to come forward.

Although Gardaí have confirmed that they are not following a definite line of inquiry, a number of people have already contacted the incident room since the new investigation was launched on Tuesday.

 

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The late Peggy O’Callaghan was a founder of Kilcummin Scor

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Peggy O’Callaghan, who was laid to rest on Tuesday of this week. Peggy played a central role in all activities related to Kilcummin parish. She passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 7. Peggy and her husband Michael founded Kilcummin Scor in 1978 – the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Peggy O’Callaghan, who was laid to rest on Tuesday of this week.

Peggy played a central role in all activities related to Kilcummin parish. She passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 7.

Peggy and her husband Michael founded Kilcummin Scor in 1978 – the music and drama arm of the local GAA club.

“It afforded the opportunity to females to participate in club activities long before ladies’ football was initiated and it brought many people into the club, many of whom remained involved in different capacities over the years,” said a club statement.

“She has left us a wonderful legacy and will be remembered fondly by those lucky enough to have met her.”

Peggy will be sadly missed by her husband Michael, sons Diarmuid and Shane, daughters-in-law Trisha and Áine, grandchildren Dara, Caoimhe, Donnacha, Siún and Éabha, brothers Seánie and Frank, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, extended family, neighbours and friends.

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Surprise: Details of town-centre inner relief road revealed

By Sean Moriarty Plans to link the Monsignor O’Flaherty Road with New St via a new road at Bohereen na Goun have been announced by Killarney Municipal District. Town engineer John Ahern told Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting between elected councillors and senior council executives that Kerry County Council intends to make a compulsory purchase […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Plans to link the Monsignor O’Flaherty Road with New St via a new road at Bohereen na Goun have been announced by Killarney Municipal District.

Town engineer John Ahern told Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting between elected councillors and senior council executives that Kerry County Council intends to make a compulsory purchase order on lands that will link the two town centre streets.

If plans come to fruition it will be possible for motorists on New St to get to the top of High St, adjacent to the Killarney Advertiser’s town centre office, without travelling through the town centre. The plan was first mooted as far back as 2016.

The announcement caught councillors off guard, it was one of the last topics discussed at the four-hour meeting, but it was broadly welcomed by all.

“This access will change the dynamic of traffic movement in the town forever,” said Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Further details of the surprise project are set to be revealed to elected members over the next four to six weeks.

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