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Legal representatives in Deirdre Morley case given a week to consider psychiatric report

She has been confined to the Central Mental Hospital since January 29 last year.

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Deirdre Morley with her husband Andrew McGinley and their children Conor, Darragh and Carla.

Deirdre Morley with her husband Andrew McGinley and their children Conor, Darragh and Carla.

Deirdre Morley with her husband Andrew McGinley and their children Conor, Darragh and Carla.

LEGAL representatives in the Deirdre Morley case have been given until next week to consider a psychiatric report to determine her future care.

This morning Mr Justice Paul Coffey adjourned proceedings until June 8 to allow defence and prosecution barristers time to consider a report, ordered after Ms Morley was found not guilty by reason of insanity of murdering her three children, Conor (7), Darragh 5) and Carla (3).

During her trial last month, the court heard that under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 the judge was obligated to commit Ms Morley to a designated centre, in this case the Central Mental Hospital. Under the law Ms Morley has since been reviewed by a consultant psychiatrist to determine her future care.

She has been confined to the Central Mental Hospital since January 29 last year.

Speaking via video-link from Anglesea Court House Cork, Mr Justice Coffey said he had only received the report this morning. Anne Marie Lawlor, SC for the prosecution said the State had not yet received the report and that she understood there would be an application to adjourn the matter.

Barry Ward, SC for Ms Morley, said he needed time to consider the report.

Adjourning proceedings until June 8, Mr Justice Coffey said it was “desirable that both sides” (in the case) should have time to consider the content of the report. He remanded Ms Morley, who was not present in court for the hearing, to the Central Hospital in Dundrum until then.

Ms Morley (44), of Parson’s Court, Newcastle, Co Dublin, was charged with murdering Conor, Darragh and Carla and had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Their bodies were discovered by their father, Andrew McGinley, in their home on January 24, 2020, the trial at the Central Criminal Court heard.

The jury in the case accepted the evidence given by two psychiatrists that the accused, a nurse who specialised in renal care at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin, was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the three killings and fulfilled the criteria for the special verdict.

The verdict came after a two-day trial during which the court heard harrowing evidence of how Ms Morley used sticky tape, plastic bags and cushions to smother her children to death while their father was away for work.

During one interview with detectives, she revealed how Conor, the third of the children to die, struggled with her and said: “Mum, stop”. Ms Morley told gardaí she replied, “I’m really sorry”, and pulled a bag tighter over his head.

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Ms Morley told gardaí she took their lives as she believed they had been damaged by her mental illness and her parenting. She had convinced herself they would be better off dead and also planned to end her own life.

However, she passed out on medication and alcohol before she could do so.

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