Thursday 22 March 2018

Dublin woman (42) charged with assisting suicide of MS sufferer two years ago

Gail O'Rorke leaving Dublin District Court
Gail O'Rorke leaving Dublin District Court
Gail O'Rorke leaving Dublin District Court
Gail O'Rorke leaving Dublin District Court yesterday

A 42-YEAR-OLD woman is to stand trial charged with assisting in the suicide of a multiple sclerosis sufferer in Dublin two years ago.

Bernadette Forde, from Morehampton Mews, in Dublin 4, was in the final stages of multiple sclerosis and had been found dead at her apartment on June 6, 2011. A coroner's inquest into the cause of her death has been adjourned.

Gail O'Rorke, from Kilcare Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin, was charged under Section 2 of the Criminal Law (suicide) Act 1993.

The charge states it is alleged that between March 10 and June 6, 2011, at a location in Dublin, she did aid and abet/counsel/procure the suicide of Bernadette Forde, who was aged 51.

Detective Sergeant James Byrne told Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court that Ms O'Rorke was arrested this morning at Donnybrook Garda Station.

She replied “not guilty” when the charge was put to her, Det-Sgt Byrne said.

State solicitor Ronan O'Brien told Judge Walsh that the DPP has directed that the 42-year-old woman is to face "trial on indictment", the book of evidence had already been completed and could be served on her.

Det-Sgt Byrne furnished the woman with a copy of the book of evidence and Judge Walsh then made an order sending her forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where she will face her next hearing on December 13th.

There was no objection to bail which the prosecution lawyer said could be set at €100.

Ms O'Rorke stood up as the judge gave her the formal warning that if she intended to use an alibi in her defence, she must give the details in writing to the prosecution within 14 days.

When asked if she understood this caution, she replied “yes”.

Judge Walsh agreed to a request from defence solicitor Dara Robinson to grant legal aid to the woman, who was then remanded on bail.

In Ireland, a conviction for assisted suicide can carry a sentence of up to 14 years.

By Tom Tuite

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