Deirdre Morley ‘fit to plead and face trial’ for murder of her three children, court told

A mother accused of murdering her three young children at their home in Dublin is fit to plead and face trial, a court heard today.
Deirdre Morley ‘fit to plead and face trial’ for murder of her three children, court told
Deirdre Morley

A mother accused of murdering her three young children at their home in Dublin is fit to plead and face trial, a court heard today.

The bodies of Deirdre Morley's sons Conor (9) and Darragh (7), and her daughter Carla (3) McGinley were discovered in their home at Parson’s Court in Newcastle, just before 8pm on January 24 last.

Ms Morley, 43, was remanded in custody by Dublin District Court on January 29, with an order that she would receive a psychiatric assessment while in prison.

She was charged with three counts of murder.

Ms Morley, a nurse at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, in Dublin, was too unwell to be brought to court for subsequent hearings, one week later, on March 4 and again on April 1 last.

The district court had heard she was in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

The case had been adjourned until today.

Her solicitor Jonathan Dunphy said his client could not attend court. “She is acutely unwell and would benefit from continued treatment,” he said.

Mr Dunphy told Judge Grainne Malone there was a doctor’s report stating, “she was fit to face trial, my client has been deemed fit to plead and the matter will go through the normal procedure”.

He understood the Garda case file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the next seven to 10 days for directions to be obtained.

Judge Malone noted she was fit to give instructions and to instruct her solicitor to consent to seek a four-week adjournment. But out of caution, she granted a two-week adjournment and was further remanded in custody in her absence.

The district court cannot grant bail in a murder case.

Ms Morley was found by a taxi driver near her house shortly before the children’s bodies were discovered. She was treated for days at Tallaght University Hospital before she was charged.

The children’s father Andrew McGinley arrived home at the same time gardaí and paramedics reached the house and when they went inside they found the three children dead.

A note had been left to urge whoever came through the door of the family home not to proceed any further but to call gardai instead.

“She made no reply in response to each of the charges and was handed a copy of charge,” Detective Sergeant Dara Kenny had said at Ms Morley’s first hearing on January 29 last. That was five days after the death of her children.

Close to 1,000 people were at the Church of the Holy Family in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, on January 31 for the funeral service of Conor, Darragh and Carla.

Their father Andrew McGinley delivered a eulogy to a packed church filled with friends and supporters of the McGinley and Morley families.

Last month, Mr McGinley appealed to the people of Ireland to help him through his personal struggle during the Covid-19 crisis. He has received more than 1,000 letters and postcards.

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