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Andrew McGinley: ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad.’


by Jennifer McShane
24th May 2021
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Following the utterly devastating trial of his wife Deirdre last week, Andrew McGinley spoke afterward of the love of his three beautiful children.

Even in the depths of what is heartwrenching grief, Andrew McGinley spoke beautifully of his need to keep going, that the love of his children Darragh, Conor and Carla was what got him out of bed each morning.

In what can only be described as an utterly tragic case, his wife Deirdre – or Dee as he called her – was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the murder of their three children. There is so much still that is hard to put into words; the horror of what happened, the disbelief, the failure of mental health services in Ireland which allowed Deirdre to reach a point of no return.

And through it all, Andrew has remained remarkable. He spoke so eloquently after the trial that it seems only right to put his words here. So tinged with heartbreaking sadness and yet of hope, his need to keep going and be happy for his children who were so utterly loved.

“There’s a lot of emotions, there’s a lot of difficult and complicated emotions. But for me, I want to live a positive life.”

“My mantra is, ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad. They’d want me to be happy.’ So yeah, sometimes I have to remind myself that . . . I want to move forward positively.”

Despite it all, he said he is no closer to finding out why his children died, but he knows that his wife did not get the support she so desperately needed.

He has called for an inclusive investigation into her diagnosis, treatment and medication prior to the family tragedy to help the family “understand the insanity” that took his children’s lives.

“You’re sitting in the courtroom, you’re listening to some of the counselling sessions she had with the professional services, and you’re seeing a totally different person, and you’re hearing about a totally different person. So I think the two parties needed to come together, the professional services and the support circle. I think had an inclusive approach been taken [involving the family in her care], Conor, Darragh and Carla would be alive today.”

“It is too late for us but I do not want to see another grieving parent speaking in the future about the same exclusion after a similar catastrophic loss. My message here and now to anyone who has a loved one in psychiatric care is to get in there as soon as you can to be added as an advocate for their treatment plan.”

His focus now is living a positive life for his children, doing projects for them, keeping their memories alive.

“Some days, the alarm goes off, and I try to keep a routine going, and what gets me out of bed is my love for them, quite simply.”

“To do that, it is the charity, As Darragh Did, it’s Conor’s Clips (the YouTube account), it is the snowman for Carla, it is the books. That’s what I have to do. And that’s what I want to do. ”

“This is a way of keeping their memory alive and giving them life,” he said.

“They’re always on my mind. They get me out of bed in the morning.

“I loved being a father.

“I will continue to celebrate the all too short lives of Conor, Darragh and Carla to ensure that they are never forgotten.”

If you would like to speak to someone or need support, contact Samaritans Ireland on 116 123 or your GP.

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