Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy today began to pick up the pieces of her life after more than two years of misery in the US, where she was jailed for a crime that not only she did not commit, but actually never happened.
The 37-year-old was flown back to Ireland early yesterday morning, after charges of murdering one-year-old Rehma Sabir while in her care were sensationally dropped this week.
Accompanied by her sister, Aisling touched down at Shannon Airport on Aer Lingus flight EI134 from Boston.
Her deportation from the United States was fast-tracked after the murder charge against her was dropped on Monday.
Asked if she was happy to be back home after 13 years, Aisling said 'yes' and then burst into tears.
The trauma of two-and-a-half years of jail and house arrest is something she will find hard to cope with. A large media crew gathered at her family home in the quiet area of Lavey in Co Cavan yesterday.
However, it is understood that Aisling was hoping to be reunited with her mother Margaret and other family and friends in Cork, where her husband is from.
Aisling left Ireland to travel to the US in 2002 on a six-month tourist visa but remained in the country.
Aisling was deported back to Ireland as soon as she was released from a four-month period of house arrest, as she had been living in America illegally for 13 years. It is not known when Aisling will return to Cavan, but when she does, she will be welcomed by the close-knit friends and neighbours who have supported her all along.
Locals were reluctant to comment on Aisling's return out of respect for her privacy and that of the Brady family.
But some said they were glad the charges had been dropped and that Aisling could be reunited with her family at home.
Her jailing had inspired a quiet and supportive unity in the parish to help and support her mother Margaret, they added.
"It's been very hard on her (Margaret).
"She has already lost her husband, and tragically also lost a son in a road accident, so this ongoing episode that looked like it would never end has been another long drawn out tragedy that hit her badly," said one local.
"Thank God it was resolved, but there is probably a lot of anger that it took so long and Aisling was accused of killing a baby she loved and cared for."