Molly Martens will fight for custody of Jack (10) and Sarah Corbett (8)
Molly Martens Corbett, one of two 'persons of interest' in the killing of Irishman Jason Corbett in America, has vowed to fight for custody of his two children.
Jason (39), from Janesboro in Limerick city, died on August 2 in his home in North Carolina during a domestic disturbance. He has since been buried with the children's biological mother Margaret Fitzpatrick, who died in 2006.
After her death he travelled to the US and later married Ms Martens, who had been the children's nanny.
Jason's two children, Jack (10) and Sarah (8), were embroiled in an intense custody battle and now his sister Tracey Lynch has them in her care in Limerick.
Meanwhile, Ms Martens and her father Thomas Martens (65), a former FBI agent, have been named as 'persons of interest' in Jason's death.
"I have not spoken to them (the children) since my visitation with them, under which we were all under the impression that it was a visitation, not a goodbye," Ms Martens said.
Her uncle Mike Ernest described how Ms Martens will continue to battle for custody of the children.
"Molly is very, very distraught about what happened. She has not lost any faith that one day her children will be returned to her care and she is prepared to take every legal step available to see that happen," he said.
"Molly is their mother. A woman can give birth to a child, a man can bear a child, and there is no guarantee that they will be good parents. Motherhood is earned," he added.
Mr Ernest described Molly as a wonderful mother.
"She cares unbelievably for these children and nurtures them. If you were able to interview them you would find the sweetest, politest, most wonderful kids.
"Not taking one thing away from their father, but a large part, if not the majority of that, is from what they have gotten from their mother," he added.
Talking to the Newstalk radio breakfast show, Mr Ernest described the last visitation they had with the children before they were brought to Ireland as "heart-wrenching".
"There was nothing in the court order which said it would be the last time Molly would see the children. We all went there, the extended family were told they could see the children," he said.
"It was in the courthouse and Molly took photo albums and showed them to the kids and just tried to lift up their spirits. She told them how much she loved them and they told her as well," Mr Ernest told Newstalk this morning.
Mr Ernest claimed the children were handed to Tracey Lynch based on their father's will, which was written seven years ago, before he met Ms Martens.
"In the week before he died he had a conversation with my wife when they were visiting that he was going to seek US citizenship for himself and the children and still retain the Irish citizenship," Mr Ernest added.