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'Listening mode' Andrew McGinley to meet with HSE today as agency considers independent review of his wife’s treatment

He said he was unaware of the deterioration in his wife’s mental health in the lead-up to her killing the children in January 2020.

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Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley with Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3)

Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley with Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3)

Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley with Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3)

Andrew McGinley is meeting with the HSE today as the agency considers an independent review of his wife’s treatment and care.

Mr McGinley’s wife Deirdre Morley was found not guilty last month of murdering the couple’s three children, Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) in 2020.

A psychiatric report to establish her future care was commissioned after the verdict and yesterday the 44-year-old former nurse was committed to the Central Mental Hospital.

During a short hearing, the Central Criminal Court heard that an examination and report had been carried out by Dr Ronan Mullaney, a consultant forensic psychiatrist.

“I have received the report of Dr Mullaney, including his findings,” said Mr Justice Paul Coffey.

“I am satisfied Mrs Morley continues to suffer from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act and I am also satisfied she requires inpatient treatment at a designated centre.”

Following the verdict on May 20, Mr McGinley called for an “inclusive investigation into Deirdre’s diagnosis, treatment and medication” prior to the children’s deaths. He said he was unaware of the deterioration in his wife’s mental health in the lead-up to her killing the children in January 2020.

He has been calling on the HSE to allow families have a more inclusive role in their loved ones’ mental health. He will today meet with representatives from the HSE as they consider initiating an “independent review” of Ms Morley’s care and treatment.

“I called for an inclusive investigation and they are looking at an independent review,” Mr McGinley told the Irish Independent.

“I am hoping that they are going to be able to clarify to me what the difference is.”

It comes following a letter Mr McGinley received from the HSE, requesting a meeting and offering condolences on the deaths of Darragh, Conor and Carla. “The initial condolence was paired with an excuse which I found to be a little bit lacking in compassion,” he said.

“I wrote back accepting their offer of a meeting. I will purely be in listening mode and I have asked that they have the same meeting with Deirdre.”

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Mr McGinley will next week meet Minister of State for Mental Health Mary Butler in relation to proposed changes to the Mental Health Act to allow a family member or advocate to play a greater role in the mental health treatment of a person.

Ms Morley appeared in court yesterday via video link. She did not speak during the brief hearing.

No further details of Dr Mullaney’s report were outlined in court and it was not said when Ms Morley’s condition will be reviewed. However, under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006, Ms Morley can expect to have her condition reviewed every six months.

A review board will decide on her ongoing, based on evidence from her treating psychiatrist. Depending on that evidence, it will have the power to continue her detention, discharge her, or conditionally discharge her. A conditional discharge would usually involve ongoing outpatient treatment or supervision.

Ms Morley, who worked as a paediatric nurse at Crumlin Children’s Hospital, had a long history of depression and her condition escalated to delusion and psychosis by the time she killed the children. However, she hid the severity of her condition from those closest to her.

Her two-day trial heard how she told gardaí she took the lives of her children because 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.

Expert witnesses for the DPP and Ms Morley both concluded she was legally insane at the time of the killings.

A spokesperson for the HSE said: “The HSE has been in contact with Mr McGinley and a meeting is due to take place shortly.”

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