Irishman killed in US, Jason Corbett, to be buried on Wednesday

Lawyer says Martens family will plead ‘not guilty’ if murder charge brought against them

Sarah Corbett (8) in the arms of her uncle David Lynch at Shannon Airport on Saturday morning. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

Sarah Corbett (8) in the arms of her uncle David Lynch at Shannon Airport on Saturday morning. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

 

The Limerick man killed in the US earlier this month, sparking a custody battle, will be buried on Wednesday.

The young children of Jason Corbett arrived in Ireland on Saturday morning. Jack (10) and Sarah Corbett (8) were greeted at Shannon Airport by family members including their 74-year-old grandmother, Rita Corbett.

The emotional homecoming followed the death of their 39-year-old father three weeks earlier and a protracted legal process afterwards to secure custody of the children. Mr Corbett’s family in Limerick had said the funeral would not go ahead until his children arrived in Co Limerick.

Mr Corbett had appointed his sister Tracey Lynch as guardian to his children following the death of his first wife Mags in 2006 of an asthma attack.

Last Monday, a US judge granted guardianship of the children to Tracey Lynch and her husband David and a separate custody case taken by their stepmother Molly Martens was dismissed on Thursday, paving the way for the children to be brought home.

Ms Martens, who had worked as the children’s au pair before marrying their father, has been named as a person of interest in the death of her late husband.

Her father Thomas Martens, a retired FBI agent, has also been questioned about the killing but no arrests have been made.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, a lawyer representing the Martens said if there is a murder or manslaughter charge brought against his clients they will plead “not guilty”.

Speaking at Shannon Airport on Saturday morning, Ms Lynch, who was in North Carolina for over two weeks before she was allowed to see her niece and nephew, said she was relieved to finally have them home.

The children were met by family members in a private room at Shannon Airport before they were brought to Limerick by their aunt and uncle.

“We are just delighted to be home with the kids, to bring them back to Ireland, and we would just like some peace so we can bury Jason,” Ms Lynch told reporters as she ran to the parking area holding 10-year-old Jack’s hand.

“We don’t have any more comment, we just want a bit of space,” she added.

Her husband held eight-year-old Sarah in his arms.

The young children travelled for 39 hours from late Thursday night until their arrival at Shannon airport at 7.02am on Saturday.

Rita Corbett (74), mother of the late Jason, was among a group of up to 20 close family members who met the children in a private area of the airport after they landed.

“I am delighted to have them home,” Ms Corbett said afterwards.

It is understood the Corbett children were due to arrive at Dublin Airport last night but they missed a connecting flight due to bad weather.

They flew from Greensboro, North Carolina on Thursday to Washington, and then had to get a train to Newark and another flight to Shannon.

There had been concerns over a possible further delay in bringing them home after it emerged Ms Martens had lodged an appeal against the dismissal of Thursday’s custody hearing. However, this appeal is likely to take a number of months.

Jason Corbett: Reposing at Cross’s Funeral Home, Lower Gerald Griffin Street, Tuesday from 5.30pm, followed by removal at 7pm to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Janesboro. Requiem Mass Wednesday at noon with funeral proceeding to Castlemungret Cemetery, Co Limerick.