'It's been horrendous ... our family has been torn apart'
THE LOVED ones of Marie Darragh cried and embraced as a Supreme Court justice served her murderer, Megan Haines, with a 36-year jail sentence.
Outside the Lismore courtroom from which Justice Peter Garling's sentence for the murder of Ms Darragh and Isabella Spencer were delivered via videolink, Ms Darragh's eldest granddaughter said she felt "overwhelmed with relief" by the "bittersweet" victory.
"I saw it as a battle and I always believed the outcome would be victorious," Shannon Parkinson said.
"We did it for Nanna and Isabella."
By chance, Ms Parkinson was the one family member in the room at St Andrews when Ms Darragh passed away on the morning of May 10, 2014, after being injected with a fatal dose of insulin the night before by her nurse Megan Haines.
Ms Darragh died in her arms.
She said the trauma of losing their beloved family matriarch in such horrible circumstances had taken a tremendous toll on the family.
"We've all been hurting as family and taking it out on each other.
"We need to move forward now, this lady has taken too much of our time."
Marie Darragh's daughter Jan Parkinson described the last 33 months since Haines was arrested as a "boiling pot" of emotions.
She said she knew something wasn't right the day after her mother's death when detectives asked her whether her mum was diabetic.
Ever since then, it's been an agonising wait to see justice delivered.
"It's been horrendous, absolutely horrendous," she said.
"Our family has been torn apart and I would like to get it back together again."
The family was satisfied with the 36 year sentence delivered to Haines with a 27 year non-parole period.
Ms Parkinson said her mum loved being at St Andrews and the staff were "wonderful", but it was "just one bad apple" which wrecked their lives.
"They need to really really delve into these people's backgrounds and take notice of what general people are telling them," she warned.
"Please, I beg you, check your elderly people. Don't let them just lay there, and if they say something to you listen to them."
Now, after the ordeal, the time has come for the family to move on.
"We just want to get on with our lives now," Ms Parkinson said.
"We deserve a little bit of peace."