Murder she vote | 

Ex pathologist swaps hazmat outfit for glitter on Dancing With The Stars with support of victims’ families

Marie Cassidy will bring a whole new meaning to ‘murder on the dance floor’

Marie Cassidy will be dancing tonight with Stephen Vincent

Marie working at a crime scene© Press 22

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Forensic pathologist Marie Cassidy has revealed that families of victims of violent crimes she has investigated have told her they are rooting for her on Dancing With The Stars.

The Scottish doctor will bring a whole new meaning to ‘murder on the dance floor’ when she treads the boards tonight to compete for the glitterball on the first show of the new RTÉ series.

Marie working at a crime scene© Press 22

“The day before yesterday I was going down to a fitting and this woman stopped me in the street and said ‘oh lovely to meet you Marie Cassidy, you did the inquest on my brother, his wife….’,” recalls the 67-year-old.

“She went into this whole story - she was with this other woman – and she said, ‘we get great closure from that’...and then she said, ‘well we’ll be voting for you on Sunday’.”

Marie, who is now retired as State pathologist, believes the public will see a whole new version of her to the one of her in a white hazmat outfit visiting crime scenes or turning up at court in business attire to give evidence.

“There is the flip side. I think a lot of people can be critical, but most people think what you do doesn’t define who you are, and you can add another side to your personality,” she points out.

“Having been away from Ireland for a little while, and I always forget, people just come up to you out of the blue.

“I was thinking ‘somebody is going to ask me directions or something’, and they say ‘hello, heard you’re doing Dancing With The Stars, we’re voting for you’, I’m like ‘that’s great’, every little helps.”

Marie Cassidy

Marie, who is a mother of two grown-up children and lives near London with her husband, admits she likes to switch off from serious stuff by watching ‘nonsense TV’.

“I’m one of these people who lives in the moment, so I don’t think too far ahead — I’ve learned that with my job,” she stresses.

“Today is the most important day because you don’t know if there’s going to be a tomorrow.

“I’m just going day to day, but now this is going to be on Sunday, and I’m expected to be out there and performing. So yeah, the nerves are kicking in big style. I think for all of us now it is becoming real.

“It’s such a complete contrast, because I’ve spent most of my career with very serious, solemn stuff and you kind of live in that world and it’s quite difficult to escape from it.

“You can’t be seen to be frivolous when you’re dealing with very important matters, and they’re very important matters to families.

“So you cannot be seen to be taking things light heartedly, even though behind closed doors I’m not a very serious person,” she says.

“It was an opportunity, and you don’t get opportunities like this very often, certainly not at my age anyway. And it’s an opportunity just to say, ‘well look, that was then and this is now’ and now is an opportunity for me to go and enjoy a bit of life, and that’s all I’m doing.”

Marie adds that she is still kept busy with a backlog of cases.

“Even though I’m retired I’m still quite busy. I’m back and forth with inquests and trials – I’m still doing stuff. I’m still doing a bit of writing and all the rest of it. So I haven’t really stopped,” she explains.

“Of course, then we had the pandemic which stopped everything; it stopped the whole world. I had intended to do a bit of travelling and now we are just getting back into it.

Fit

“I’d like to do more travelling. Otherwise I’m just open to any opportunity that comes along and if it’s something I’m fit enough to do, I’ll have a go.

“Next week, I’ve got a trial coming up in the criminal court and an inquest. These things go on forever, and particularly with the pandemic hitting the courts as well, a lot of the trials have been put back for a long time.”

Marie will be doing a jive tonight with her dance partner, Stephen Vincent.

“It’s going better than I thought,” she reveals.

“I just assumed they’d give me a waltz with a nice long dress and Stephen could just sort of wheel me about the place a bit. But as soon as everybody found out ‘you’re doing the jive!’, I go ‘yeah’.

“What can I say, I give it my best and hope for the best, that’s all I can do. I’m just trying to stay alive for as long as possible.”

  • Dancing With The Stars is on RTÉ One tonight at 6.30pm.


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