Thursday 19 April 2018

Donal Lynch: Irish nanny goes from invisible to infamous in just one day

Aisling McCarthy Brady's mugshot
Aisling McCarthy Brady's mugshot
The home Aisling McCarthy Brady' shared with her husband in Beale Street, Quincy, Massachusetts
The distraught nanny is led into court for a hearing to request the charges against her be dropped
Baby Rehma's father Sameer Sabir
Baby Rehma's mother Nada Siddiqui
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

Like many young Irish in America, Aisling McCarthy Brady longed to sail under the radar. As an illegal immigrant, the 34-year-old Cavan woman cherished her anonymity, fully aware that one false move could result in her being torn from the new life she had made in Massachusetts and her job as a nanny with a wealthy British family.

On January 14, the sound of ambulance sirens signalled the end of McCarthy Brady's old life in America. On that day, a child in her care reached her first birthday and ended the day brain-dead in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. As police descended on McCarthy Brady's employers' home in Cambridge and interviewed the child's distraught parents, Aisling was arrested and her mugshot was beamed around the world.

Late-night news shows compared her to Louise Woodward, the British nanny who was convicted of killing the toddler in her care. In one swift motion the Irish nanny had gone from invisible immigrant to infamous defendant, her life in the shadows rescinded for good. Little wonder she is, in the description of her lawyer, Melinda Thompson, "destroyed".

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