A Donegal man who lost his three children after they were killed by their mother has said he is shocked by her bid to be released.
Deirdre Morley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of her children Conor, 9, Darragh, 7, and three-year-old Carla has formally applied to be released under a community release scheme.
Now Andrew McGinley has said he is shocked by Ms Morley’s bid to get out of the Central Mental Hospital after just three years.
He said: “When I heard about it I was surprised. I would go so far as to say I was shocked.”
Ms Morley has been in custody at the Central Mental Hospital ever since the three children were found dead in their home in Newcastle, Dublin on January 24, 2020.
During her trial, two psychiatrists testified that Ms Morley was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the three killings and fulfilled the criteria for the special verdict.
It is understood her application will now need to be considered by medical professionals at the facility – and that Andrew was formally notified of that also.
Andrew, who is this year marking his third Christmas without his children, told the Irish Mirror he would have hoped that the ongoing HSE review and the impending coroner’s court hearing would happen before Ms Morley’s release is even considered.
“From a personal perspective I would think that the HSE review that we all called for after the trial should be completed and also the coroner’s court,” he told the Irish Mirror.
“The coroner’s court still hasn’t happened and it’s three years after the deaths of Conor, Darragh and Carla. Ultimately it’s a decision for Dee’s medical team.”
However the grieving father did admit that he fears the potential prospect of accidentally bumping into his wife if she is released. “Definitely yeah it would be difficult,” he said.
“The only meeting that we had face to face was just before the trial and it was a very difficult meeting and so I can’t imagine it would be any different if we bumped into each other.
“As I sit here now I don’t know if Deirdre is still in Dundrum or has she been moved to Portrane.
“I don’t know if I should have been told or not. But I often go out and meet a friend on Donabate and Portrane beaches so I think it would be something I would like to know because there would be a potential of being out there some day and bumping into her.”
This Christmas Andrew wants to try to enjoy the season, as he says he’s found it extremely difficult over the past two years.
“My family have just been superb over the years with Christmas but I just kind of felt Christmas happened around me and I didn’t really take part,” he said.
“So I’m kind of determined this year to try and reclaim it a bit. Because we all loved Christmas. I always had the tree up by the end of November and the kids just loved it.
“It’s just a great time of the year. I loved Christmas and as soon as I’d mention taking down the tree you know, they were all on board. I just want to make it a fun day again. It will always be tinged with sadness.
“First thing in the morning I’ll wish that there were sacks of presents beside the fireplace and half eaten cookies and a carrot and stuff like that. It’s a time of the year I always enjoyed and I think the kids would want it to still be a time that is fun and enjoyable.”
However, he added: “I will be up at the grave on Christmas morning. If I have a Christmas wish for anybody it’s that you never have to stand at your children’s grave on a Christmas morning.”