A BABY found washed up in a bag on a Co. Kerry beach 34 years ago was just three days old when he was killed, gardaí have revealed.
The body of 'Baby John' was found on White Strand beach at Cahersiveen in Kerry on April 14, 1984. He had been stabbed to death.
In a press briefing today after the announcement of a review of the case on Monday, Supt Flor Murphy said that the infant had been stabbed "28 times".
He added: "Everybody involved in this investigation is totally committed to getting the answers to what happened to Baby John.
"We must not forget that a baby boy...was stabbed to death and left on a beach in south Kerry in April 1984."
Supt Murphy urged anyone with information on the cold case to come forward.
“We particularly want Baby John’s mother to come forward, she is the key to unlocking this mystery about the circumstances of his birth and his death," he said.
“She may have suffered pain and loss and anguish over the last 30-odd years but we’re in a different place now compared to the 1980's.
"We will talk to her with compassion and sensitivity and in a professional manner and we have trained people to do that.”
Det Chief Supt Walter O’Sullivan, who is heading the new Serious Review Team investigation, said Forensic Science Ireland have built a full DNA profile for Baby John from a blood sample taken during a post-mortem.
“DNA brings great certainty but the greatest assistance in this case will come from the people of south Kerry,” he said.
“We are certainly acting on the premise that the answers to the questions lie in south Kerry and the Iveragh Peninsula and we would ask people to come forward even after 34 years.
“Time has moved on but time can now become the friend of the investigator in that our society has changed and people may now be freer to come forward with information as attitudes and relationships and loyalties can change.”
Det Chief Supt O’Sullivan said that Baby John died as “a result of a frenzied attack” but added that the law is “merciful” and anyone coming forward with information will be dealt with in absolute confidence and with compassion.
“We are investigating Baby’s John death as if it happened today," he said.
Earlier today, gardaí apologised to a woman wrongly accused over the murder of Baby John 34 years ago.
Joanne Hayes received an apology for the stress and pain she was put through as a result of the investigation into the child's tragic death.