Sunday 11 December 2016

The children of Jason Corbett are back home in Ireland, says attorney for their stepmother Molly Martens Corbett

* Attorney for Molly Martens Corbett said he believes the two children are back in Ireland now
* Appeal against Corbett custody case could take up to a year says stepmother's attorney
* The children's stepmother Molly Martens Corbett said the 'distraught' over losing custody

David Raleigh

Published 21/08/2015 | 18:38

Left: Jason Corbett with his children Jack and Sarah. Main: Mr Corbett with Molly Martens Corbett, and David and Tracey Lynch, who now have custody of the children.
Left: Jason Corbett with his children Jack and Sarah. Main: Mr Corbett with Molly Martens Corbett, and David and Tracey Lynch, who now have custody of the children.

The two children of Irishman Jason Corbett are believed to be back in Ireland.

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According to an attorney for the children's stepmother Molly Martens Corbett, the two children left the US last night on a flight to Ireland with their aunt Tracy Lynch, a sister of Jason Corbett.

Jason Corbett with his children Sarah and Jack
Jason Corbett with his children Sarah and Jack

Ms Lynch and her husband were granted guardianship of Jack (11) and Sarah (8) in the US yesterday.

Earlier today, it was revealed their stepmother Molly Martens was appealing the decision.

The appeal against the court ruling allowing the Limerick couple take custody of the of their brother's children following his death in North Carolina could take up to a year to be heard, it has emerged.

The attorney for the children's stepmother, Molly Martens, who fought a bitter custody battle against the family of Jason Corbett, said the children Jack, (10), and Sarah, (8), had left the United States and were on their way home to Limerick.

Murder victim Jason Corbett
Murder victim Jason Corbett

David Freedman said the appeal could take up to a year but that it would not affect the court's ruling allowing the children to go back to their Irish relatives.

The Corbett children are expected to fly into Shannon Airport at 7am Saturday with their aunt and uncle in law Tracey and David Lynch and other members of their slain father's family.

However, in a separate interview on RTE's Drivetime programme, Mr Freedman told broadcaster Mary Wilson he believed the children were already back in Ireland.

However, this cannot be confirmed.

Jason Corbett with Molly Martens Corbett, and David and Tracey Lynch, who now have custody of the children
Jason Corbett with Molly Martens Corbett, and David and Tracey Lynch, who now have custody of the children

"My understanding is the cases were dismissed yesterday and the children left for Ireland last night," Mr Freedman told this reporter in a separate interview.

"That's my understanding...the contact I had was that they were leaving last night."

He added: "That doesn't effect the appeal. The appeal still goes forward."

Asked how Ms Martens was feeling, he said: "She's distraught."

"How would any mother feel, who's been a mother for eight years to two different children who were ripped away from her in the middle of the night, and have been taken out of the country," Mr Freedman said.

He added: "It could be six months to a year before the appeal is heard."

"I felt the best interests of the children were served to stay with Molly, because she's their mother. They refer to her as mammy.

"She was very active in their day to day life. She was at school with them. As a volunteer, she was a swim coach for them, she helped them with their horseback (riding).

"She was the one who was there for them on a day to day basis."

Mr Freedman said Ms Martens wish to right for custody of the children "never meant any disrespect to the Lynch's".

"We've had nothing but good things to say about the Lynch's. It's just that we felt the children should stay with the person they determine as their mother," he said.

Jason Corbett's mother Rita said on Thursday she expected the children to land at Shannon Airport at 7am, Saturday morning.

Speaking this evening, the children's other grandmother, Marian Fitzpatrick, said she understood the children would still be coming home on Saturday.

"As far as I know, yeah," she said.

The Department of Social Services in the US had originally put the children in the care of their stepmother, Molly Martens Corbett.

Police have described her as "a person of interest" after the children's father was found dead at their home earlier this month.

Ms Martens' father, Thomas, is the other suspect after Mr Corbett was bludgeoned with a baseball bat.

Mr Corbett's first wife and the mother of the children, Mags Corbett, died in 2006 after suffering an asthma attack .

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