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dad's grief Andrew McGinley asks wife Deirdre Morley for access to medical files as he seeks answers to kids' tragic killing

"I left home leaving what I believed to be a loving, sane, caring mother with the three children"

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Andrew McGinley wants answers to the medical decisions made in the lead up to his wife taking the lives of their children

Andrew McGinley wants answers to the medical decisions made in the lead up to his wife taking the lives of their children

Andrew McGinley wants answers to the medical decisions made in the lead up to his wife taking the lives of their children

Grieving father Andrew McGinley has spoken with wife Deirdre Morley about releasing her full medical files to him and her family - to assess if opportunities were missed that could have prevented her killing their three children.

In an extensive interview with the Sunday World, Andrew said he is 'absolutely stunned' mental health services knew her psychiatric health was deteriorating in the months before she killed their three children - but didn't alert him or her family.

The heartbroken father said both he and Deirdre's family believed, at this time, that her mental health was improving - and he now questions why they were kept in the dark.

He also says he is extremely concerned the team involved in assessing and treating Deirdre's mental health issues did not inform him when she spoke - during treatment sessions which took place months before the killings - of being 'overwhelmed by her parenting responsibilities.'

"For me this is not a blame game," Andrew said, in an interview given on Friday in the home where his wife took the lives of their three children.

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Andrew and children Conor, Darragh and Carla McGinley

Andrew and children Conor, Darragh and Carla McGinley

Andrew and children Conor, Darragh and Carla McGinley

"I need answers. I need the gaps that I see filled in.

"At a stage where we as a family in December and January believed Dee was improving and on the road to recovery, it came out during the trial it was the complete opposite.

"How were we left trying to support Dee believing she was on the road to recovery when they (the medical professionals) knew she was not and that she was actually declining?

"That stuns me. That absolutely stuns me.

"I left home leaving what I believed to be a loving, sane, caring mother with the three children.

"Dee was doing school runs just the day before (the killings), she was kissing and cuddling the kids and she was bathing them. And she was, in my eyes, a loving and devoted mother.

"Maybe I should have seen different signs but I don't know that because I didn't know what I should have been looking out for.

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"Because nobody was guiding me and nobody was liaising with me."

On Thursday, following a harrowing three-day trial, Deirdre was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of the couple's three children Conor (nine), Darragh (seven) and Carla (three) at the family's home in Parsons Court, Newcastle, Dublin, on January 24 of last year.

Harrowing evidence was given of the nature of the children's death and also a detailed account of Deirdre's interactions with the mental health services in the weeks, months and years before.

The trial heard doctors had wanted Deirdre Morley admitted as an in-patient to a psychiatric hospital just two months before she killed her three young children, but she refused to go.

The 44-year-old paediatric nurse resisted the urgings of her local mental health service, which sought to refer her for in-patient treatment at St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin in November 2019.

At Andrew's request, Deirdre had him included in a meeting with her psychiatric team in St Patrick's in July of 2019 - seven months before she would take the lives of their children.

Recalling that meeting now, Andrew says he left it with a sense of optimism.

"The meeting I attended with Dee in July 2019 was one where she was given what I would describe as a fairly mild diagnosis," he recalls.

"I left there with the impression that with a treatment plan and some medication, we would be fine."

But Dee's condition, instead of improving, was steadily declining.

"I know now that in November of 2019 Dee's GP contacted St. Pat's about the diagnosis," Andrew said.

"And now, too late, we can also see a number of flags that were raised in the preceding months."

One of those red flags, Andrew feels is the fact Deirdre mentioned during counselling being "overwhelmed by her parenting duties" and "not wanting to be around the children."

He learned for the first time that she had expressed these feelings during expert medical evidence given at her trial this week.

"You would think at some stage, after one mention or two mentions like this, that they would have thought we should let the father know," Andrew said.

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Dad Andrew with Conor, Darragh and Carla

Dad Andrew with Conor, Darragh and Carla

Dad Andrew with Conor, Darragh and Carla

"At what stage, when Dee was raising these concerns, was I going to be included?

"Were they ever going to include me?

"We had a huge circle of friends and family who were all more than willing to help.

"Certainly when concerns were raised by Dee herself about being overwhelmed by being a parent, we could have eased that by doing more even that what we were doing."

Asked about the differences in the diagnoses Deirdre received before and after killing the children, Andrew said this does give rise to concerns as to whether she was on the right treatment plan and medication prior to the killings.

"I'm a pretty logical person but listening to the mental health experts brought in for the trial, Dr Brenda Wright and Larry Daveron, they both confirmed that Dee's diagnosis before the children died was different to her diagnosis afterwards.

"I need to understand: when did that change … at what point?

"And you would possibly think that if the diagnosis was wrong, then potentially the treatment plan was wrong and possibly the medication was wrong.

"In the CMH now, she has what they all agree on is her correct diagnosis.

"And she has described the drugs that she is on now as a wonder-drug … and again that was brought up in the trial.

"She feels that had she been on that medication previously then probably circumstances would have been very different.

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Andrew McGinley outside the Church of the Holy family as his children arrive for their funeral mass

Andrew McGinley outside the Church of the Holy family as his children arrive for their funeral mass

Andrew McGinley outside the Church of the Holy family as his children arrive for their funeral mass

"Dee was a fabulous mum, she was devoted to the kids and she loved the kids.

"But anybody who has read about the case would probably not understand that.

"I still struggle to understand what has happened myself.

"I will probably never recover and I doubt I will ever heal.

"But I do feel that identifying, in my opinion what were shortfalls in Dee's treatment could prevent this happening to someone else. I honestly want to be the last person that you sit down with in circumstances like these.

"It's too late for me and it's too late for so many others, but the lessons that should be learned from our experiences, need to be learned so that no other children die."

It is understood that if Deirdre's condition continues to improve, she could be released from the Central Mental Hospital as early as next year.

Addressing her possible release, Andrew said: "Dee's future is the responsibility of the teams in the CMH. And I don't think anyone else will have an input other than them. So if they have the responsibility they have the accountability.

"It will be their decision when they believe that time to be right."

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