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State Pathologist Prof Cassidy to retire after nearly 15 years in job


State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy is set to retire

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy is set to retire

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy is set to retire

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy has announced that she will retire later this year, after nearly 15 years in the top job.

Prof Cassidy (66) moved to Ireland from her native Glasgow in 1998 to take up the position of deputy to Professor John Harbison.

She quickly became a noticeable figure as the only woman with such a senior job in pathology. She travelled daily across Ireland, visiting the most gruesome scenes.


Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan yesterday thanked Prof Cassidy for her years of dedicated service.

"The Office of the State Pathologist is a vital part of the criminal justice system. The expertise of its scientists has helped resolve many crimes and bring perpetrators to justice, and in doing this work it has been expertly led by Prof Marie Cassidy," he said.

"I would like to thank Marie for her valuable service to the Irish people. I know that she will be greatly missed, not just by her colleagues in the Office of the State Pathologist, but by all those who work with her in the criminal justice system.

"I wish Marie a long and happy retirement."

The minister also thanked Deputy State Pathologists Dr Michael Curtis and Dr Linda Mulligan, and the Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margo Bolster for their ongoing work.

Prof Cassidy, a mother-of-two who lives in Swords, succeeded Prof Harbison as State Pathologist in January 2004.

She went on to lead pathological investigations at murder scenes across Ireland throughout the next 14 years.

Among the most infamous cases she has worked on was the killing of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara in 2012.

In 2015, after Foxrock architect Graham Dwyer was jailed for life for the crime, Prof Cassidy admitted that she had not believed the murderer would be found guilty as she felt there had not been a great deal of pathological evidence.


Earlier this year, Ms Cassidy attended the remote south Dublin scene where the body of Jastine Valdez had been found.

Ms Valdez, a bright, young Filipino student, had been abducted and murdered by Mark Hennessy, who was later killed after a stand-off with gardai.

Prof Cassidy - who has Donegal roots - showed a different side to herself when she appeared on TV3 reality show The Restaurant in 2015.

The channel - recently rebranded as Virgin Media One - was criticised when it publicised her appearance in a tasteless manner.

A press release included puns like "hoping to blow the diners away", "dead set" and "a grave mistake".