Miriam’s Musings

Deirdre Morley – How did they miss those red flags?

Deirdre Morley was found not guilty, by reason of insanity, of committing the most unfathomable crime of killing her three precious babies, Conor (9), Darragh (7), and Carla (3) in their own home –  a place where they should have been safe.

As a mother, the details of this case have left me not just heartbroken, they’ve also left me asking many questions, which are…why did Deirdre Morley, who by all accounts was an excellent mother, have to suffer to such an extent she believed her babies were ‘doomed’? Why did this seemingly decent and good woman’s mental health issues develop into something so sinister; so devastatingly dark, her anxieties regarding her abilities to parent led to her three innocent and beautiful babies’ lives being cruelly snuffed out?

What is going wrong with our country’s mental health care facilities that a person’s depressive illness evolves to the extent they experience delusions and develop a psychosis so disturbing, they harm the people they love and cherish most in this world?

We all experience anxiety, indeed, as parents we all second-guess ourselves. I know I did. I still do. But that’s fine. Anxiety is natural, it’s challenging, it’s motivating and it’s vital in so much it helps us identify and respond to situations we view as being dangerous.

But devastatingly, there is a darker side to anxiety, one which is persistent and one which can cause the sufferer to experience an emotional torture so damaging it can lead to delusions and hallucinations that seriously impair our judgements. I’m not a mental health expert, but I am assuming this is perhaps what occurred when Ms. Morley.

The children’s devastated dad Andrew McGinley has said his wife’s not guilty ruling was “probably the right verdict”. Even though I’m at odds with the jury’s decision, and I’m sobbing whilst writing this, I find I have to agree with him. What other conclusion could one arrive at? I’m really glad I wasn’t a member of that jury.

According to reports, Ms. Morley ‘could be released from the Central Mental Hospital within a year’, with an online article on irishtimes.com saying this is the conclusion of ‘sources familiar with the case and her treatment.’  Be that as it may, but given the fact three children lost their lives, I have to ask why her period of rehabilitation could be so short.

I fully understand, and I’m glad, that when a person is placed on remand in the CMH, they’re not treated as a prisoner, rather as a patient. After all, it’s only right and proper that the purpose of this facility is to treat and rehabilitate, as oppose to punish. Indeed, if a review board decides a patient is well enough to re-enter society, then of course they would be obliged to release them, as is their right. This is especially so if the patient is responding well to treatment. In this instance it seems that, given Ms. Morley has now received the diagnosis she needed, and is in receipt of the treatment she deserves, i.e. ‘anti-psychotic medication’ which, according to the online Irish Times article has seen her ‘condition improved considerably,’ I’ve no doubt she’s now on the road to recovery.

Taking all of the above into consideration readers, I have to ask how a situation could occur whereby – allegedly – a seriously mentally ill mother, in a situation where she became so detached from reality, could rob her children of their future, and their father of his entire family. I mean, this tragedy has not only left me feeling deeply disturbed, it has left me fuming because it’s clear, in Ms. Morley’s case, a series of red flags were catastrophically missed.

How many more innocent lives must be lost before people who are suffering, nay drowning in the depths of their own despair, are offered the medication which Deirdre Morley herself allegedly describes as being ‘a wonder drug,’ acknowledging ‘if only I had had this last week, things would have been different’.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with heartbreak and loss, everyone’s ability to forgive and the timeframe by which they deal with their trauma depends on their own natural processes. This process differs depending on the severity of an individual’s loss. Personally, I think the loss of your precious children is the worst stressor any parent can go through, for the simple reason they’ve not just lost the little angel they loved, they’ve lost their entire future with them.

The lives and the futures of Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley have been changed forever. As parents, they were the architects of their children’s universe; a universe that came crashing down the very second their lives were taken. May the children’s little souls rest in peace.

 

Put your own house in order before you criticise others, Minister Donnelly!

 

It appears Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is finding it difficult to think before he speaks! This is the only conclusion I can arrive at given his ridiculous and, it must be said, injurious comment regarding his assumption that certain members of the legal profession would be ‘licking their lips’ at the prospect of generating lots of business from those allegedly affected by the recent HSE cyber-attack.

We all know someone who has an impressive IQ, yet, when it comes to basic common sense, we find them to be seriously lacking, and that’s grand. However, I have to say I didn’t expect this level of empty-headedness from a Government Minister.

Sure why shouldn’t any legal firm, if they so choose, advertise their professional services to taxpayers who may, without their consent, have had their most personal and private details published online for all to see? Isn’t it the public’s legal and human right to seek advice regarding compensation? I think so, even if Mr. Donnelly allegedly doesn’t see it that way.

While of course there’s overwhelming support for the Government’s ‘we will not pay a ransom’ stance, this criminal attack has highlighted a major vulnerability in our HSE’s systems, due to what is allegedly down to their use of an outdated version of Windows; something which I find to be incredibly negligent.

To that end, due to their own sloppiness, our Government and our HSE must ready themselves, not just for a possible barrage of law suits, but they should be prepared to face fines under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive for their hit-and-miss data protection strategies. Whichever way you look at it Stephen, this HSE cyber-hack is going to come with a heavy price for us, the poor taxpayers. My advice Minister, in future, do try and make sure your own house is in order before you make a tactless and insulting remark!

 

Celebrating reaching half a century by giving birth was not part of my plan!

 

Model Naomi Campbell has become a mother at 50, announcing her baby’s birth on social media, saying: ‘A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother’.

Now readers, while many of us are struggling with the notion of giving birth at a stage in our lives when our kids should be leaving home, the truth is, the number of births occurring to women aged over 50 years is rising!

You see folks, elebrating reaching half a century by giving birth was never part of my own plan. In the interest of full disclosure, I had my tubes tied following the birth of my second daughter, telling those who gasped in shock-horror to mind their own business, and, if, down the line, I felt the urge to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, I’d put clogs on my Jack Russell. That shut them up! Oh congratulations to Naomi!