THOUSANDS of euro in donations are still being lodged to help the two children of the late Jason Corbett, who was killed in the US. It will also help the legal costs incurred by their new guardians in bringing them home.
Among those who have been fundraising include Laura McLoughlin, School of Dance, and its members, through bag packing in Tesco in the Crescent Shopping Centre. A figure of €1,604 has so far been raised from this one event.
Mary Fitzpatrick, one of three local women involved in the fundraising campaign for the family, said well over €16,000 has now been raised and there are more monies to be tallied.
There was also an educational fund for the children initiated in the US, which has raised over €3,000. It remains to be seen whether these funds will also be redirected to Ireland, but Ms Fitzpatrick said monies lodged to date have also come from the US.
In a message released online, their guardian and aunt Tracey Lynch said: “There are no words to adequately express my heartfelt gratitude to all who have given messages of support, love, donations, offers of places to stay and prayers on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Jack and Sarah are happily settled at home with their cousins and family. I am so privileged and honoured to have such amazing people in Limerick who supported me and my family and loved J (Jason) so dearly. I can never repay your kindness,” she wrote.
Tracey’s sister Pauline was also overjoyed to have Jack, 10 and Sarah, eight, back on Irish soil at the weekend - nearly three weeks after their father Jason Corbett, 39, was killed in a ‘domestic disturbance’, and after a number of intense court hearings involving custody of the children.
“Glad to say we have our kids Jack and Sarah back home where they belong with their family. Thanks so much to everyone for all the prayers and support we appreciate it all so much. A big thank you to the staff at Shannon Airport and crew for all the professional help.
“We can’t thank people enough so to all the people of Limerick, Ireland and afar from the Corbett and Fitzpatrick family from the bottom of our hearts,” she said.
Jason was found dead at his home in Wallburg, North Carolina, with fatal head injuries on Sunday, August 2.
His removal will take place in the city this Tuesday and he will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Castlemungret cemetery alongside his beloved ‘soulmate’ Mags, his first wife who passed away in 2006.
His mother Rita Corbett, 76, from Janesboro, said the real grieving will now begin.
“It’s going to be tough. We have to face the hardest part of it all now, burying my son, but it would be worse if his children weren’t there,” she said.
A piper is to play at his graveside, before two white doves are symbolically released into the sky while he is to be laid to rest.
“It’s to signify that Jason and Mags are finally together, as they always wanted to be,” said John Corbett, Jason’s oldest brother.
Thomas Martens, 65, Jason’s father-in-law and a former FBI agent, is understood to have claimed he hit his son-in-law in order to defend his daughter, Molly, 32, Jason’s second wife, who was initially a nanny to the children. Both are described by police as ‘persons of interest’ in thec ase.
When the Corbett family originally learned of Jason’s death they were told by Sharon Martens, Molly’s mother, that Molly pushed Jason and that he died after banging his head.
The US lawyer representing Jason Corbett’s wife, Molly Martens Corbett, has said that if charges of murder or manslaughter are brought against his client she will plead not guilty.
“If those charges were brought I would be hard pressed to see why she would do anything else,” David Freedman told RTE’s This Week programme.
He confirmed that there were other people in the house on the night that Jason was killed, but did not specify who they were.
Though Ms Martens’ mother was also staying in the house that weekend. He said if the children were to have any contact with Molly, whom he said has been their mother for eight years, that would be a matter for the Corbett family.