The sister of a Limerick man found dead at his home in America last weekend has said she will not return to Ireland without her brother and his two children.
Tracey Lynch travelled to North Carolina following the death of her brother, Jason Corbett, 39, who was found dead with head injuries last Sunday morning.
Police found the father-of-two, who is originally from Janesboro, in Limerick City, unconscious and unresponsive, following an alleged assault at his home at Panther Creek Court, in Wallburg.
Police are not looking for anybody outside of the family home and the investigation has been referred to the district attorney’s office. No arrests have been made.
Jason Corbett moved to North Carolina four years ago, with his two children from his first marriage, Jack 8, and Sarah, 10. The children’s mother, Mags Corbett, died of an asthma attack in 2006.
Mr Corbett had been living with his new wife, an American woman, who previously worked as his children’s childminder.
Following the death of his first wife, Mr Corbett appointed his sister, Tracey Lynch, legal guardian to his children, should anything ever happen to him.
Ms Lynch hasn’t been able to see her niece and nephew since she arrived in North Carolina a week ago.
She now faces a legal battle in America to have her guardianship recognised.
The children are in the custody of their stepmother, who is the chief suspect in the investigation into the death of Mr Corbett.
In a statement issued through a family friend, Ms Lynch, a well-known community activist in Limerick and CEO of Tait House, in Southill, said: “We will be staying in America until we can bring my brother and his children home. These children are Irish citizens, they hold Irish passports and all the family wants is to be able to bring them home, together with their father.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has offered consular assistance to the family. A fundraising campaign, called ‘Jason’s Journey’, has also been established in Limerick to help the Corbett family deal with their travel and legal costs.
A fundraising appeal will be launched for the family of Jason Corbett who died tragically in the US just days ago. pic.twitter.com/0qQ578l66y— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) August 7, 2015
Family friend Mary Fitzpatrick, whose son, Michael, was murdered in 1999, following an unprovoked attack, initiated the fundraising appeal. “My thoughts around what they were physically going through, and the pain and suffering, brought me to think about the expense which they must be now burdened with travelling to America.
“Three of them flew out to America last Monday and they had to take three different flights to get to North Carolina; that’s nine flights in total,” she said. “I kept waiting to hear if somebody was going to do something to support them, because it does cost a lot of money and Limerick is very good for coming out and supporting families in crisis. I think I know, from the similar experience that I had, that Limerick is very good to help their own.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to ‘Jason’s Journey’ can do so through a TSB Bank account, number 11240513, sort code 990751.
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