An uncle of Molly Martens says she has not lost any faith that her stepchildren will one day be returned to her care.
She and her father have been described as 'persons of interest' in the investigation into the death of her husband, Limerick man Jason Corbett.
He died earlier this month as a result of injuries sustained in an alleged violent incident at his home in North Carolina.
Jason Corbett and Molly Martens.
Jason's two young children have been placed in the guardianship of relatives here, but Ms Martens intends to appeal that decision.
Her uncle Mike Earnest says Jack and Sarah are great kids, and he gives his niece a lot of credit for that.
He said: "Not taking one thing away from their father, but a large part of that - if not the majority of that - is from what they've gotten from their mother.
"And I will say this: Molly is very, very distraught about what has happened but she has not lost any faith that her children will one day be returned to her care.
"And she's prepared to take every legal step available to see that happen."
Ms Martens says she has not talked to Jack and Sarah since her last visitation before they left for Ireland, but could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation into Jason Corbett's death.
"I have not spoken to them since my visitation with them - under which we were all under the impression that it was a visitation, not a goodbye," she said.