Woman charged with assisting suicide in Dublin

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

Bernadette Forde, from Morehampton Mews, was in the final stages of multiple sclerosis. She was found dead at her apartment on 6 June, 2011.

A coroner's inquest into the cause of her death has been adjourned.

On Wednesday, Gail O'Rorke, from Kilcare Gardens, Tallaght, was charged under Section 2 of the Criminal Law (suicide) Act 1993.

The charge states that between 10 March and 6 June, 2011, at a location in Dublin, she "did aid and abet/counsel/procure the suicide of Bernadette Forde", who was aged 51.

Det Sgt James Byrne told the judge at Dublin District Court that Ms O'Rorke was arrested on Wednesday morning at Donnybrook Garda Station.

She replied "not guilty" when the charge was put to her, the detective said.

A state solicitor told the judge that the director of public prosecutions has directed that the 42-year-old is to face "trial on indictment". The book of evidence had already been completed and could be served on her.

The judge then made an order sending her forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where she will face her next hearing on 13 December.

There was no objection to bail, which the prosecution lawyer said could be set at 100 euros (£84).

Ms O'Rorke stood up as the judge gave her the formal warning that if she intended to use an alibi in her defence, she must give the details in writing to the prosecution within 14 days.

When asked if she understood this caution, she replied "yes".

The judge agreed to a request from defence counsel to grant legal aid to the woman, who was then remanded on bail.

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