'My children would still be alive if I was involved in wife's care', Andrew McGinley

ireland
'My Children Would Still Be Alive If I Was Involved In Wife's Care', Andrew Mcginley
Andrew McGinley has called for an urgent review of his wife’s medical care before the tragic killing of his children on January 24th, 2020.
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Digital Desk Staff

The father of three children killed by their mentally ill mother believes they would be alive today if had he been involved by the medical team handling his wife's care.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Andrew McGinley has called for an urgent review of his wife’s medical care before the tragic killing of his children on January 24th, 2020.

Deirdre Morley suffocated Conor, 9, Darragh, 7, and Carla, 3, at their Dublin home while suffering a psychotic and depressive episode.

She was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a jury of 10 men and two women in the Central Criminal Court after more than four hours of deliberation.

“As I sat in court and listened to the medical experts, they were relaying evidence from Deirdre’s medical files that we were not included in, it just raised more and more questions for us,” Mr McGinley said.

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“The only people who can answer those questions are the people who were treating her professionally before the children died.”

Ms Morley was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder type 2 after the children’s deaths — a new diagnosis from what she had before.

Inclusive investigation

Treatment with the anti-psychotic drug Olanzapine since her children’s deaths has made her feel “herself again”, a caring, non-violent person, she said.

Had she started taking that drug one week earlier, the killings would never have happened, she said.

“We ask the HSE Mental Health Services for an inclusive investigation into Deirdre’s diagnosis, treatment and medication prior to this tragedy. We ask for this to be conducted as a matter of urgency,” Mr McGinley said.

He added “We believe that an inclusive investigation can only serve to inform clinicians in their practice and therefore avoid tragedies like ours happening again. We do not want any other family to suffer as we have.

“I think had an inclusive approach been taken [involving the family in her care], Conor, Darragh and Carla would be alive today.”

Mr McGinley wants changes to the Mental Health Act 2001 so that families can be more involved in the care of their loved ones.

He referenced another tragic case in which John Butler killed his two young daughters, Ella and Zoe at their east Cork home and then took his own life in 2010.

His wife and the children’s mother Una Butler has been campaigning since for families to be involved in the psychiatric care of their mentally ill loved ones.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

You can also freephone the national Bereavement Support Line run by the HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation at 1800 80 70 77 (Monday-Friday 10am-1pm), and the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support/.

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