Deirdre Morley sent forward for trial accused of murdering her three children

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, in January
Deirdre Morley sent forward for trial accused of murdering her three children
Deirdre Morley, who has been served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire

A mother accused of murdering her three young children at their home in Dublin has been served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.

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 was remanded in custody by Dublin District Court five days later, with an order that she would receive a psychiatric assessment while in prison custody. The 44-year-old, a nurse at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, in Dublin, was charged with three counts of murder.

She has been in the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum since her first hearing and was not fit to attend 10 subsequent remand hearings.

Dressed in a gold and black top, black trousers and wearing a face mask, Ms Morley was br

Deirdre Morley and Andrew McGinley with their three children, Conor (second left), Darragh (centre) and Carla (far right). 
Deirdre Morley and Andrew McGinley with their three children, Conor (second left), Darragh (centre) and Carla (far right). 

Judge Marie Quirke noted the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed to the accused being returned for trial on the three charges in the book of evidence, to the next sittings of the Central Criminal Court.

Defence solicitor Jonathan Dunphy said there was consent.

Judge Quirk gave her the usual warning that if she intends to use an alibi in her defence she must inform the prosecution within 14 days.

Ms Morley stood silently and looked toward the judge who then drafted the order sending her forward for trial.

Judge Quirke also acceded to a request from her solicitor to direct continued psychiatric care for his client. She said she had no difficulty in making that order and noted a similar one had been made previously by the court.

Legal aid, to include senior and junior counsel representation, was granted.

A date has yet to be set for her appearance at the Central Criminal Court, but it will take place after its next term starts, in October.

Ms Morley has not yet indicated how she will plead.

Earlier, her solicitor told the district court there was a doctor’s report stating: 

My client has been deemed fit to plead and the matter will go through the normal procedure.

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 gardaí instead.

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

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