Belfast Telegraph

Woman faces trial over MS suicide

A woman is to stand trial in Ireland charged with assisting the suicide of a multiple sclerosis sufferer.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the country, Gail O'Rourke, of KiIclare Gardens, in Tallaght, south Dublin, appeared before a court in the Irish capital.

She is accused of helping MS sufferer Bernadette Forde, 51, kill herself at her home in Donnybrook, south Dublin, between March 10 and June 6 2011.

Appearing before Dublin District Court this morning, the defendant was granted bail.

Sgt James Byrne said she replied not guilty when charged and cautioned earlier at Donnybrook Garda Station.

Judge Michael Walsh sent the accused forward for trial to the Circuit Criminal Court. She is to appear again before the court on December 13.

The charges were brought under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993, according to the Courts Service.

Ms Forde was found dead in her apartment at Morehampton Mews in Donnybrook on June 6 2011.

She had been in the final stages of multiple sclerosis.

A coroner's inquest into her death has been adjourned a number of times.

Under Irish law, a person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another can face up to 14 years in prison.

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