Woman pleads not guilty as assisted suicide case opens in Dublin

CourtsBy Sunday World
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A woman has gone on trial accused of assisting someone in taking their own life by helping them obtain and take a toxic substance.

Gail O’Rorke (43) of Kilclare Gardens Tallaght has pleaded not guilty to aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the suicide of Bernadette Ford (51) by helping her to procure and administer a toxic substance between April 20, 2011 and June 6, 2011 at a location in Dublin.

A jury of six men and six women were empanelled this morning at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Judge Patricia Ryan told potential jurors that the case involves an alleged assisted suicide and warned them not to serve “if they think they could not approach this case without bias or prejudice.”

The judge warned the jury that the case will be decided on the facts as heard in court and told them to ignore any media coverage. She also told them not to access any material on the internet concerning the case.

The jury will begin hearing evidence in the trial before Judge Patrick McCartan on Monday morning following legal argument this week. The trial is expected to take up to two weeks.

A list of potential witnesses was read to the jury which included gardaí, a doctor in the coroner’s office, a travel agent, a Fed Ex employee and a professor.

Remy Farrell SC appears for the prosecution with Dermott McGuinness SC representing Ms O’Rorke.

By Conor Gallagher