Friday 6 December 2019

Nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy: 'I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I want to move on'

Aisling Brady McCarthy spent more than two years in prison
Aisling Brady McCarthy spent more than two years in prison
Aisling Brady McCarthy on her wedding day
The former nanny leaving court in Massachusetts after her acquittal
Aisling Brady McCarthy

Mark O'Regan

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy, who spent two years in jail for a crime she did not commit, is to sue the doctor who branded her a murderer.

The 37-year-old was arrested in 2013 after a medical examiner claimed that she had "violently shaken" to death a one-year-old girl in her care.

She was subsequently charged with the murder of Rehma Sabir in Cambridge, Massachusetts and spent 27 months in prison and a further three months under house arrest.

Last August, however, after she had spent more than two years in jail, the charges against her were finally dropped. Prosecutors admitted the evidence against her did not add up.

Anxious to leave the country as quickly as possible, Ms Brady McCarthy left all her possessions in her rented home in Boston and flew straight back to Ireland.

Her sister Sharon was with her on the flight and for the first hour of the journey, they just held hands and cried.

While staying at her sister's house in Galway, Ms Brady McCarthy and her husband Don celebrated their third anniversary - the first anniversary when she wasn't in jail - at an Italian restaurant.

She recalled that while she was in prison in the US, she was surrounded by many women who had previously been in jail.

"I was terrified," she said. "I wouldn't come out of my prison cell."

Speaking to the 'Boston Globe', Ms Brady McCarthy said she now plans to take legal action through the American civil court system.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," she stressed.

"They weren't just wrong in my case, they were reckless. They never lost a minute's sleep. They just moved on to the next case."

Exposing what happened to her will bring some kind of closure, she suggested.

"If I don't let go, it will consume me. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I want to move on."

The former nanny, who is now living with her husband in Cork, said she was still struggling to get over the ordeal.

"I have changed. I don't trust people like I used to.

"You're nearly afraid to get to know people because they'll say, 'Oh, you're the girl from Boston.'

"It makes me want to cut my hair off or dye it black."

Ms Brady McCarthy said her family, as well as the cards and letters of support that she has received from all over the world, have been a source of great strength for her.

However, since she returned to Ireland, she has struggled to find work.

"I was a nanny. I'm not going to do that again. Who is going to want to hire a 37-year-old who has been out of the country for 15 years?"

Reflecting on her time spent in jail, she said that it had changed her as a person.

"When I was in prison, I had a loving family that came to see me. I called my husband twice a day.

"Some of the girls had nobody. Some people have nothing. No matter what, your life is always better than someone else's."

Ms Brady McCarthy also revealed that her lawyer, Mindy Thompson, whom she describes as "my guardian angel", spent Christmas with her family in Carlow.

All 10 siblings were together for the first time in 15 years.

"Mammy was in her glory," she added.

Ms Brady McCarthy is banned from returning to the United States for a decade as a result of overstaying her visa and living illegally in Boston.

Irish Independent

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