Killing of McGinley children ‘an act of insanity’, father says

Andrew McGinley says kids might be alive if family included in Deirdre Morley’s mental health care

Andrew McGinley, whose wife Deirdre Morley has been found not guilty of murdering their three children by reason of insanity, has said he believes they would still be alive if the family had been included in her mental health care.

“For me what happened to the kids was an act of insanity, I can’t see it any other way, I can’t understand it any other way,” he said on Thursday.

Speaking to The Irish Times in his Co Dublin home, Mr McGinley asked for the professionals who had been treating Ms Morley, prior to the children’s deaths, to sit down with him and the family.

“The trial was never going to give me the answers I needed, it was an act of insanity, I’ve accepted that … I don’t think you can come to any other conclusion,” he said.


“My ask would be the teams that were treating Dee professionally, that they sit down with us and the family, and try provide us with those answers because that’s what we need, we need to understand.”

A Central Criminal Court jury on Thursday found Ms Morley not guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) on January 24th, 2020. She is currently in the Central Mental Hospital and another report on her will be prepared by a consultant psychiatrist following the verdict.

‘Totally different person’

Evidence heard in court from counselling sessions Ms Morley had with professionals painted a picture of “a totally different person” to the woman he knew, Mr McGinley said.

“Certainly, I can see now, Dee, she didn’t want me to know the full extent of her illness … she wanted to put her best foot forward,” he said.

“For us as a family, we’re sitting in the courtroom, we were listening to the evidence from the two expert witnesses and we’ve just ended up with more questions than at the start of the trial.”

Mr McGinley said he had been in touch with and met Ms Morley since the children died but that he did not wish to comment further.

He said he would strongly advise those with loved ones in the care of the mental health services “to get in there and become an advocate for their care, they need to be aware of their treatment, their medication, all the facts, everything”.

“I think the two parties needed to come together, the professional services and the support circle. I would be convinced had that happened, that Conor, Darragh and Carla would be alive today.”

‘Probably the right verdict’

Earlier, Mr McGinley released a statement via An Garda Síochána in which he said the jury had returned what was “probably the right verdict”.

“Everyone who knows Deirdre, knows how much she loved our children and how devoted she was to them,” said Mr McGinley.

He expressed gratitude to a number of people including the lawyers who acted for the prosecution and defence, gardaí and the jury.

Mr McGinley said he would “continue to celebrate the all too short lives of Conor, Darragh and Carla to ensure that they are never forgotten.” He is planning to continue a series of ventures in the names of the children.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times