Deirdre Morley case: Inquiry into treatment ‘imperative’, says mental health service

St Patrick’s had treated woman before she killed her three children

St Patrick's Mental Health Services, which had treated Deirdre Morley before she killed her three children, has echoed the family's calls for an investigation into her treatment.

It is “imperative” an investigation is carried out to determine if anything could have been done to prevent the children’s deaths and to stop anything similar happening again, it said.

Ms Morley (44) was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday of suffocating Conor (9), Darragh (3) and Carla McGinley at the family home in Newcastle, Co Dublin on January 24th, 2020.

Following the verdict, her husband Andrew McGinley called for an “inclusive investigation into Deirdre’s diagnosis, treatment and medication prior to this tragedy”.


The trial heard Ms Morley had been suffering significant mental health issues prior to the killings.

She suffered a breakdown in July 2019 and was admitted to St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin as an inpatient for four weeks.

The court heard that both Clondalkin Mental Health Services and the Swiftbrook Medical Centre had later written to St Patrick's Hospital requesting that Ms Morley be readmitted due to concerns about her mental health.

In a statement on Friday, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services expressed its “heartfelt condolences” to the children’s family.

“As was reported during the court proceedings, Ms Deirdre Morley spent a period of time as a service user of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services,” it said.

“Given the court verdict, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services supports the call for an independent inclusive investigation into Ms Morley’s treatment, and any other factors which may be pertinent to this tragic event.”

It said it is “imperative that we identify what can be learnt from this tragic event.”

“This includes fully and sensitively investigating if anything could have been done to prevent the deaths of three innocent children, and to help avoid any family in the future suffering a similar fate.”

The mental health service said it is “committed to the provision of the highest quality mental healthcare, including adhering to the highest human rights and child protection principles.”

Ms Morley has been remanded to the Central Mental Hospital for assessment and will reappear in the Central Criminal Court in two weeks.

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Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times