Late Late Show

Gail O'Rorke 'utterly free' of guilt about assisted suicide of friend

Gail O’Rorke was acquitted in 2015 of three counts of assisting in the suicide of her friend Bernadette Forde in 2011.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

THE FIRST PERSON to be prosecuted in Ireland for allegedly assisting someone to die by suicide has spoken of how she is “utterly free” of guilt in relation to her friend’s death.

Gail O’Rorke was acquitted in 2015 of three counts of assisting in the suicide of her friend Bernadette Forde.

Forde died in 2011 after taking a lethal dose of barbiturates ordered by O’Rorke from Mexico. She had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for a decade previous and had decided to take her own life.

O’Rorke was subsequently charged with assisting in the suicide of Forde.

The three charges against were for O’Rorke ordering the drugs which Forde would take to kill herself; helping to arrange her funeral in advance; and planning a trip to Zurich, where Forde hoped to die in the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas, a plan that was thwarted when the travel agent alerted gardaí.

She was eventually acquitted of all three charges.

Speaking on RTÉ’s the Late Late Show, O’Rorke said that she had no regrets in the actions she had taken in relation to the suicide of her friend and was “utterly free” of any guilt.

“The guilt I would feel is that if Bernadette was now confined to a nursing home or a care home where she was going through the indignities that she wanted to avoid so much,” she said.

O’Rorke also spoke of her relationship she had with Forde, which grew over the years from her being a cleaner to becoming a confidante and carer to her in her final years.

She also spoke of planning the trip to Switzerland and the panic she felt when gardaí stopped her at the travel agents and asked to speak to her.

“They brought me to Rathmines Garda Station,” said O’Rorke.

“They basically told me that what we were doing was breaking the law.

And what I was doing was assisting in a suicide and that was punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Which I wasn’t aware of. And they told me to cancel our plans from that point on.

O’Rorke said that she wasn’t aware at the time that planning the trip could be an illegal act.

“In Switzerland it’s legal,” she said.

It’s a legal act in a country where it’s legal and I couldn’t see how I could be in any trouble.

O’Rorke also spoke of how she felt when her trial was over and she was eventually acquitted of all charges.

“It was like the torture had ended,” she said.

Crime or Compassion?: One Woman’s Story of a Loving Friendship That Knew No Bounds by Gail O’Rorke was released this week.

Read: Gail O’Rorke cleared on two charges of assisting the suicide of her friend

Read: Gail O’Rorke found not guilty of assisting the suicide of her friend

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.