By Nell McCafferty
Joanne Hayes, at 24 years of age, hid the start and dying of her child in County Kerry, eire, in 1984. accordingly she confessed to the homicide, by means of stabbing, of one other child. all the clinical facts confirmed that she couldn't have had this moment child. The police however, insisted on charging her and, after the costs have been dropped, persisted to insist that she had given delivery to twins conceived of 2 various males.
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Additional resources for A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case
Detective Dillon’s contact furnished alibis for two of the three women, declaring that CURA ‘was looking after them and was fairly satisfied with both positions’. The hospital, nominally controlled by the state, is run by the Sisters of Mercy nuns, who work closely with CURA. There was an ‘inconclusive file’ on the third woman, Joanne Hayes, said the contact. She had come into the maternity ward on 14 April a few hours before the Cahirciveen baby was found. The file on her read ‘scan and uterus recently emptied’.
This is the story of professional men, the lawyers, doctors, police and priests, who found woman to blame. It is also the story of one woman and the ‘Kerry babies’ tribunal. It was medieval. A group of men put a young unmarried woman on the stand and questioned her about the exact circumstances of the conception and birth and death of her newborn baby. She came from a tiny village in the west of Ireland. They had come down from the capital, Dublin. The Pope had just come and gone from Ireland. The men wondered aloud if the woman had in fact given birth to two newborn babies who had been found dead in Kerry, though blood tests showed that she could only have been mother to one.
Kitty trained as a teacher and went off to a convent, where she became Sister Aquinas. Bridie trained as a nurse, joined the British army and was sent off to Malaya. Joan went off to London to take up domestic service. Mary never left the homestead. In all her life she had never held a paid job. Sometimes she cleaned the home of an elderly neighbour, and was given a few shillings. Abbeydorney during Mary’s teenage years is vividly recalled by Tom Shanahan, now a retired police inspector. In 1935, he says, there was widespread depression caused by Éamon de Valera’s economic war with England, of which Ireland was still a colony.
A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case by Nell McCafferty