A CANDLELIT gathering to show solidarity with the family of a Limerickman killed in America will be held outside City Hall this Tuesday night.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the gathering - following the death of Limerickman Jason Corbett, 39, in north Carolina two weeks ago - while the custody battle for his children continues.
Candles will be provided and people are asked to wear something green if possible. A book will be available for people to sign personal messages to the families affected.
Meanwhile, documents from Tusla, the family and child agency, are due to be presented at a court hearing in America this week to support Jason’s children returning to Ireland.
Fianna Fail deputy Niall Collins said he has been in contact in Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan regarding the “horrendous situation” in North Carolina.
Jason’s sister Tracey and her husband David are fighting in the courts to bring home Jason’s children, Jack and Sarah, following his death after he was beaten with a baseball bat. The couple were appointed guardians in Jason’s will and are “parents in waiting”, according to his family.
However, the children are currently in the care of their stepmother, Molly Martens Corbett, Jason’s second wife and former nanny to the children, who is also a suspect in the case, alongside her father, a former FBI agent.
Jason and his children moved to America following the death of his first wife Margaret, who passed away tragically following an asthma attack.
Police in the US have confirmed that they are not seeking anyone outside the family home in connections with their enquiries, after a 911 call was made in the early hours of Sunday, August 2.
Jason’s remains were repatriated from Atlanta to Dublin airport and brought home to Limerick on Thursday last under a garda escort.
They are currently in the care of Cross’ funeral home in the city, but no funeral arrangements have been made to date. It is the family’s wish that his funeral be held once all the family have returned to Limerick together.
Speaking to the Limerick Chronicle, Deputy Collins said he travelled to Dublin at the weekend to be updated on the case by Minister Flanagan.
He said that documents from Tusla, the agency which took over the care of children from the HSE, support the Lynches as guardians of the children.
He said the documents will be notarised, so that they have legal standing internationally, and are due to be presented at the next custody hearing this Tuesday. However, it may be Thursday before a verdict is announced.
The hearing on Friday last is said to have lasted up to 12 hours and a media blackout was imposed on the proceedings.
It is understood that the children are due to be interviewed by a person appointed by the court, and that they also may present before the court this week.
“It’s a horrendous situation,” said Deputy Collins. “These two children are Irish citizens and the American courts should honour and respect that,” he said.
John Corbett, Jason’s older brother, said he believes there may have been a row over whether the children should be adopted by his stepmother.
He said they feel “unbelievable frustration at the saga in north Carolina”, which he added “beggars belief” and “is an unnecessary, heart-breaking custody battle.”
John, who works for the NHS in East Anglia in England, said his beloved brother was a “6’2 teddybear, who wouldn’t hurt a fly.” “It’s a very strange situation. I met her [Molly] on numerous occasions but she always seemed a bit distant to me,” he said speaking on RTE Radio One.
“This is a very unique situation, and I would appeal to Charlie Flanagan to step in now. It’s a humanitarian case, that’s beyond all comprehension. It’s just not right,” he said.