THE family of a baby girl allegedly assaulted by an Irish nanny in the US have gone through "unimaginable pain" since their child died, says the local district attorney.
Aisling McCarthy Brady (34) has been charged with battering one-year-old Rehma Sabir at the family's Boston home. She has vehemently denied the charge.
From Lavey, Co Cavan, Ms McCarthy Brady was working as a nanny for Rehma's mother Nada Siddiqui (29) and father Sameer Sabir (34) at the time.
Post-mortem results will steer prosecutors in their decision whether to press murder charges against her.
Preliminary results found "bruises to the top of and behind (the child's) right ear and her buttocks" as well as "multiple" bruises to the head and injuries to her spinal cord.
A statement released on behalf of the child's family by Middlesex District Attorney's office in Massachusetts said: "Very few can fully understand the sorrow and pain that they are enduring and we all need to allow them the appropriate time and support they require to cope with this tragedy."
The family pleaded for privacy and said they did not wish to talk to anyone.
"Keep in mind the desire of the child's parents that they be provided space to properly grieve," the district attorney's statement said, adding: "The family of this child are going through unimaginable pain and suffering and their wellbeing remains a priority for us."
Ms McCarthy Brady has been remanded in custody after bail was set at $500,000 (€373,915). She is due to appear in court again on February 22 for a status hearing. But she will appear on an earlier date if the charges against her are upgraded to murder.
It has been alleged that she assaulted Rehma on her first birthday on January 14, resulting in a fatal head injury and broken bones. The baby died two days later in hospital after suffering brain damage. A bloodstained pillow, blanket and baby wipes were found in Rehma's bedroom when it was searched again on January 17, according to US court records.
Ms McCarthy Brady's lawyer, Melinda Thompson, has said her client had no role in the death. She said the nanny of 18 years would "never hurt a child".
The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is providing consular assistance.
Ms McCarthy Brady's mother Margaret, who still lives in Lavey, is said to be "devastated" by the allegations.
Fr Kevin Fay, the curate at the local church St Dympna's, said the community was in shock.
Meanwhile, GAA leaders in Boston were refusing to be drawn on Ms McCarthy Brady's case last night after it emerged that she is sister of Raymond Brady, a senior GAA board member in the state.
Brady has his own carpentry company in Boston, but is also the youth information officer for the North East division of the GAA, and has played a major role in the sport in Massachusetts over the last 17 years.