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Demanding answers Grieving dad Andrew McGinley says he 'needs truth to come out' as he sues HSE

Both parent’s cases relate to the medical treatment Deirdre received in the lead up to the deaths of the children

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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

A father of three children killed by his mentally ill wife has issued medical negligence proceedings against the HSE.

Andrew McGinley told the Sunday World he has taken the legal action after being frustrated in his efforts to get the answers about his wife’s treatment, prior to the killings, from the HSE.

“I just want the truth of what happened to come out,” he said.

Andrew has filed proceedings in the High Court against the HSE, the Governors of St. Patrick’s Hospital and a named clinical psychologist.

The development came a day after the Sunday World revealed Andrew’s wife Deirdre Morley, who killed the couple’s three children Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) on January 24th of 2020, had issued separate legal proceedings in the High Court against the same named defendants.

Both parent’s cases relate to the medical treatment Deirdre received in the lead up to the deaths of the children.

“We are almost two years down the road and are no closer to getting the answers that we are looking for,” Andrew told the Sunday World.

“The HSE carried out a preliminary review of Deirdre’s case but they wouldn’t share the findings of that with us.

“Now, almost two years after the deaths of the children, they are starting an inquiry.

“If this (the legal case) is the only way I can get the answers I am looking for from them, then this is what I have to do.

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Deirdre Morley and Andrew McGinley with their three children (Family handout)

Deirdre Morley and Andrew McGinley with their three children (Family handout)

Deirdre Morley and Andrew McGinley with their three children (Family handout)

“There is nothing financially in this for me.

“I could win the case and still end up losing everything.

“But I need the truth to come out.”

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A key concern of Andrew’s is the fact his wife’s diagnosis, prior to the children’s death, differed from the diagnosis given at her trial.

He has also queried why doctors treating Deirdre, prior to the children’s deaths, did not make him aware of concerns regarding her mental state.

Mrs. Morley is currently in the care of the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, Co. Dublin.

She was committed to the facility in in June of last year by Mr Justice Paul Coffey.

During her two day trial, two psychiatrists testified that Mrs Morley, 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 two consultant forensic psychiatrists called as expert witnesses were both in agreement that the accused was unable to appreciate what she had done was morally wrong and was unable to refrain from her actions.

Ms Morley’s trial at the Central Criminal Court was described by the State as “a desperately sad case”.

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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

Ms Morley’s defence counsel told the jury the case was a “tragedy of enormous proportions.”

They described as a “tragic irony” the fact the accused was someone who had committed her entire professional life to the care of children as a paediatric nurse.

The trial heard Mrs. Morley had suffered from mental health difficulties for several years.

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 husband Andrew McGinley has sought an inquiry into her care and diagnosis prior to the children’s deaths.

Mrs Morley’s two-day trial heard harrowing evidence of how she used sticky tape, plastic bags and cushions to smother her children to death while their father was away for work.

She 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.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster found the children had died by asphyxia from compressions of the chest area and airways.

Dr Brenda Wright, called by the defence, gave a detailed description of the accused’s mental state deteriorating in the weeks before the killing and said she was suffering with bipolar affective disorder at the time.

The witness said the defendant believed it was morally right to smother her three children as she thought she had “irreparably damaged” them and “had to put an end to their suffering”.

Dr Mary Davoren, for the prosecution, testified that the accused was suffering at a minimum from recurrent depressive disorder and experienced a severe depressive episode on the day.

Under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006, Mrs. Morley’s condition and ongoing detention are reviewed every six months.

A review board sits to decide on her ongoing treatment and detention at the Central Mental Hospital based on evidence from her treating psychiatrist.

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