Speaking in the Seanad today, Leas-Chathaoirleach Senator Paul Coghlan welcomed the Minister for Justice and Equality’s decision to consider how to deal with the discredited 1985 report which is still the official state position on the Joanne Hayes case.
Senator Coghlan believes the tribunal’s findings must be quashed or set aside.
Senator Coghlan said, “As we all know, this was a botched investigation by the Gardaí at the time. The Gardaí have issued an apology to the Hayes family, all of whom were wronged.
“The Minister for Justice also apologised, and the Taoiseach issued an apology on the behalf of the State.
“Joanne Hayes was wrongly accused of the murder of baby John who was stabbed to death twenty-eight times and found on White Strand Cahersiveen 34 years ago, a crime she had nothing whatsoever to do with.
“The tribunal’s findings can no longer stand in light of these events.
“While it is true that legally the Government does not have the power to interfere with a tribunal or to reject what are independent findings, we must now look at other ways- perhaps the appointment of a Senior Counsel or a retired Judge to examine the findings with a view to quashing or setting aside what is still considered the official state position on the Joanne Hayes case.
“While everybody naturally wants to respect the privacy of the Hayes family, we must consider the importance of putting the record straight and having an accurate state position on Joanne Hayes and the Kerry babies case.”