LEGAL expenses incurred by the family of Jason Corbett in seeking to bring his two children home from America have amounted to over €130,000, it has been revealed.
While funds are continuing to pour in through various appeal funds, John Corbett, brother of the late Jason, has spoken out about the financial and emotional pressures the family are under.
In the midst of these strains he also vowed: “We will not rest until those who murdered our brother are convicted”, and criticised his second wife’s family for their cold and calculated attitude since his death.
Further fundraisers are planned in the coming month to help the family, as the children returned to school this week.
A benefit dance will be held in Clancy’s bar in Pallaskenry, where Jason’s first wife was from, this Saturday, September 5 from 9pm.
“Debts exceeding anything you could imagine are mounting and your fundraising efforts are vital in order to reduce the pressure building on this grieving family,” urged one of the organisers of the appeal fund.
“If you can help in any way, by holding a fundraising event in your work, school or community or if you own a business and would like to donate services or spot prizes please contact us and let us know so we can help,” they continued. Those who wish to help can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A tea and cake bake sale in Janesboro last weekend raised some €2,400.
A golf classic will also be held in Ballyneety golf club on Friday, October 9. It costs €200 for a team of four to enter, including dinner.
More than a month on since he was killed in the home of his second wife in North Carolina, his family are also awaiting for criminal proceedings to be brought.
The 39-year-old Janesboro native died on August 2 in his home in North Carolina during a ‘domestic disturbance’.
His wife, Molly Martens Corbett, and her father Thomas Martens, a former FBI agent, are the main persons of interest in the case.
Jason’s family have now rejected claims that he was about to seek joint Irish-US citizenship for his children, describing statements by his American widow and in-laws as “deluded”.
Ms Martens is still pursuing her action to overturn the court’s decision in granting custody to her husband’s sister, Tracey Lynch and her husband David.
The couple were named as guardians in his will, following the death of his first wife Mags Corbett, who died from an asthma attack in 2006.
Ms Martens’s uncle Mike Earnest, a special agent fraud investigator with the Federal Law Enforcement agency, claimed Jason Corbett had said he intended to “get joint citizenship for himself and the children” which would have allowed Molly to adopt them.
“Jason said this was his intention, and the extended family in the US believe this to be true.”
Reacting to the interview, John Corbett – an older brother of the late Jason, insisted this was not the case and said his brother never “entertained the idea of making his children dual American-Irish citizens”.
He said his brother had confided in a close friend that he wished for the children to grow up in Ireland. “Jason, Jack and Sarah’s legal residence status or green card application was deliberately done through Jason’s job by Jason, and it was specifically to protect the children,” he said.“Myself and my family have tried to handle this traumatic story in a dignified way, but we feel we need to respond.”
Mr Earnest claimed his niece Ms Martens will do everything she can to gain custody of the children.
She has been posting continuous updates on Facebook in an attempt to get in touch with the children, and says she misses them “every second of every minute of every hour of every day.”
Mr Corbett said that “if Molly Martens had any real maternal feelings or love for those children, or any sensitivity, she would not be seeking to traumatise them further.
Mr Corbett said his niece and nephew are settling in well since they arrived home to Limerick and are both due to start school this week.