Episode 6 – The Kerry Babies

In the year 1984, Ireland was a very different place. Contraception, Abortion and Divorce were illegal. The country was dogged by religious conservatism and was facing into a terrible recession. Amidst this, the body of a baby boy was found on a beach in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry. The police began to look for the likely suspect: an recently-pregnant unmarried mother. Joanne Hayes was accused and charged of the murder of the infant. She and her whole family eventually confessed to the murder, despite Joanne’s baby being located. So what had caused the family to confess? A judicial inquiry was set up to investigate Garda maltreatment, but it soon turned into a trial of Joanne’s character.


Theme music: “I’ll do the Time” by Nick Jaina


Shout outs to Moms and Murder Podcast and True Crime Fan Club



Nicola Goc, “Motherhood Murder and the Media: Joanne Hayes and the Kerry Babies Case” in Mediating Moms: Mothers in Poluar Culture ed. Elizabeth Podnieks (McGuill- Queens Uinversity Press, Montreal, 2012)

Nell McCafferty, A Woman to Blame: The Kerry Babies Case (Attric Press, Cork, 1985).

Diarmaid Ferriter, http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/heart-of-darkness–the-kerry-babies-saga-30-years-later-265099.html

Joe O’Shea, http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/the-kerry-babies-case-the-shocking-scandal-and-tragedy-that-divided-the-nation-and-the-mystery-that-was-never-solved-30176996.html

Newstalk, Pat Kenny interview with Diarmaid Ferriter 14th April 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQM47ccYoyI&t=68s