Acclaimed Irish actor Fiona Shaw stars in the film

Acclaimed Irish actor Fiona Shaw stars in the filmDefiant Films

It won a clutch of festival awards and accolades three years ago but Irish film Out of Innocence is only reaching cinemas now.

The drama, which stars renowned Irish actress Fiona Shaw was inspired by the notorious Kerry babies case which took place in Ireland in the 1980s.

In Out of Innocence, a newborn baby’s body is washed up on a deserted beach, while on the same night 50 miles away, a young mother gives birth to a stillborn baby and secretly buries the infant on the family farm.

A link is drawn, wrongly, between the two cases in an Ireland that, at the time, was full of misogyny and upheaval.

The true story that inspired the film was a shocking case that still has repercussions today. In 1984  a baby’s body with a number of stab wounds was found on a beach in Cahersiveen, County Kerry. Gardaí wrongly concluded that a young woman called Joanne Hayes was the baby’s mother.

In fact, Joanne had given birth to a baby, who was stillborn and was buried on Joanne’s family farm. Joanne was charged with the murder of the Cahersiveen baby, who was given the name John but charges were later dropped. 

In 2018 the Irish State and Gardaí formally apologised to Joanne and in March 2019 Joanne and her family began legal proceedings against the State. The investigation into Baby John and what happened to him continues. 

Out of Innocence also stars Alun Armstrong, Fionnuala Flaherty, Ruth McCabe, and Judith Roddy. It reaches cinemas on 12 April 2019. 

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