O'Dea calls for more support for family of slain Irishman
Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30
Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea has called on Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan to do more to help Jason Corbett's family.
Mr Corbett (39), originally from Limerick, died from severe head injuries after a domestic incident at his home in North Carolina last week.
The Corbett family are currently locked in a custody battle with US authorities, who have put Mr Corbett's children with his first wife Mags Corbett, Jack (10) and Sarah (8), in the care of Mr Corbett's second wife, the main suspect in the case.
Mr O'Dea said that the department was not doing enough to help the family, adding that Mr Flanagan should personally intervene.
"The kids have had no access to their family since the saga began and clearly feel abandoned," he said.
"I think the minister should be picking up the phone to someone in the US and saying that this is a humanitarian issue and cut through the red tape. There is a laissez-faire attitude here and that is not appropriate because we are talking about two young kids. There is an element of urgency here that is not being taken into account."
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was still working to help the family.
"All appropriate efforts will be made to assist the young citizens involved at this difficult time," said a spokeswoman for the department.
"Minister Flanagan is fully aware of the case and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing ongoing consular assistance," she added.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbett's body will arrive back in Ireland tomorrow morning.
The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust took charge of the operation to fly Mr Corbett's body home at the request of his family. Colin Bell set up www.KevinBellRepatriationTrust.com after his son was killed in a hit and run in New York two years ago.