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20th May 2021

Andrew McGinley pays heartbreaking tribute to his kids amid Deirdre Morley verdict

Clara Kelly

Deirdre was found not guilty for the murder of the couple’s three children by reason of insanity earlier today.

Andrew McGinely has said that the decision to find Deirdre Morley not guilty of the murder of their three kids is “probably the right verdict” in a heartbreaking letter following the verdict.

In a statement issued on Thursday, McGinley said that he will “continue to celebrate the all too short lives” of his three children, and “ensure they are never forgotten”.

Earlier today, Deirdre Morley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the murder of the couple’s three children, Carla, Conor, and Darragh.

The jury of ten men and two women reached their decision after four hours and 23 minutes.

“Today’s verdict is probably the right verdict. Everyone who knows Deirdre knows how much she loved our children and how devoted she was to them,” McGinley said in a statement.

“Whatever the outcome of this trial, it remains that our beloved children Conor, Darragh, and Carla have died. As I write this, I’m no closer to understanding why.”

He added that Deirdre’s diagnosis prior to the children’s deaths is different from her diagnosis now, adding that “if Deirdre’s diagnosis was questionable prior to 24 January 2020, then surely so too was her treatment and medication.”

“We are now also aware of a number of occasions within Deirdre’s professional care when her initial diagnosis should have been queried but none of these seem to have been fully addressed,” he continued.

“This trial was never going to explore those issues so we ask the HSE Mental Health Services for an inclusive investigation into Deirdre’s diagnosis, treatment, and medication prior to this tragedy.

“This will help us understand the insanity that took the lives of our beloved Conor, Darragh, and Carla. We as a family need to be included in any investigation as our exclusion during her treatment has left us with many unanswered questions – We do not want any other family to suffer as we have.”

McGinley added that the Mental Health Act of 2001 “does not go far enough” in ensuring “that the family support structures for the patient are fully engaged” by mental health professionals.

“In the past 20 years over 50 children have died at the hands of one of their parents. Over 60% of those people were known to have had previous contact with psychiatric services,” he added.

“This was raised by Una Butler back in 2010 following the deaths of her beautiful daughters Ella and Zoe. She campaigned tirelessly to many within the Oireachtas to seek a more inclusive and collaborative approach with families. Alas, nothing much changed.

“The lessons which should have been learned from the sad loss of Ella and Zoe should have led to improvements in the Mental Health Act. This in turn would have prevented the deaths of Conor, Darragh, and Carla in our opinion.

“It is too late for us but I do not want to see another grieving parent speaking in the future about the same exclusion after a similar catastrophic loss. My message here and now to anyone who has a loved one in psychiatric care is to get in there as soon as you can to be added as an advocate for their treatment plan.”

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