Aisling Brady McCarthy has returned to Ireland after two and a half years in prison and months under house arrest in Boston. She landed at Shannon Airport, accompanied by her sister, on Wednesday morning.
The Irish nanny, who had been accused of the murder of the one-year-old baby in her care, Rehma Sabir, had all charges against her dropped on Monday but was arrested by US Immigration and Custom Enforcement Officers in Boston on Tuesday shortly after her release for a 2002 visa violation. Her deportation was fast-tracked.
On Wednesday morning Brady McCarthy’s flight touched down at Shannon Airport. Aer Lingus delivered her home from Boston at 6.12am. She and her sister were accompanied through the arrivals hall by airport police. She declined to make a comment to the media.
McCarthy, originally from Co. Cavan, traveled to the US on a tourist visa in 2002 and had been living and working illegally in the US since its expiration. She had been the subject of a final order of removal allowing for her to be deported as soon as she was released from custody.
Officers detained McCarthy for the long-standing visa violation just a day after prosecutors dropped a murder charge relating to the death of a child in her care in January 2013. The decision to drop the case against McCarthy was made after the state medical examiner changed the cause of the child’s death from “homicide” to “undetermined”.
McCarthy’s lawyers had arranged that she would be arrested by agents in the ICE field office in Boston at midday (5pm Irish time) on Tuesday.
In a press conference on Monday following the announcement from the Medical Examiner, McCarthy’s lawyers had stated their hope that their client would not be put through the further trauma of being arrested for the immigration violation.
“Our main concern and hope is that when she is released from the bracelet [monitoring tag] and all the logistics are figured out, that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) does not arrest her, that ICE lets her go home. And I don't know if we have any control over that, that's just a hope and a plea quite frankly," defense attorney Melinda Thompson had told reporters.
As for McCarthy’s next steps, Thompson said, "I think she [Aisling] just wants a normal life, quite frankly, and I think she deserves one. All of you [the media] can help rebuild her reputation. People need to know that there might be, but there should not be, a cloud of suspicion because there is no crime. She was falsely accused of something that never even happened.”
McCarthy is married to a local Boston Irish man; Thompson did not go into detail on the status of their relationship.
Watch more of Thompson’s remarks in the following video:
Residents of McCarthy’s hometown of Lavey, Co. Cavan, have expressed their relief and joy over her release and her journey home.
"She was always innocent," said one neighbor, speaking with NewsTalk.ie.
"The whole parish was behind her," said another, while a third added, “We're delighted for her and her family. We've all been praying for her these last couple of years. It's just great news – we'll have to have a big celebration."