ROYAL COMMISSION: Murdered woman Marie Darragh and her daughter Charli Darragh at St Andrews nursing home in Ballina. Ms Darragh wants to continue spreading awareness to prevent others suffering her mother did. Supplied picture.
ROYAL COMMISSION: Murdered woman Marie Darragh and her daughter Charli Darragh at St Andrews nursing home in Ballina. Ms Darragh wants to continue spreading awareness to prevent others suffering her mother did. Supplied picture.

I want to stop other people being murdered in nursing homes

THE daughter of Marie Darragh - murdered by 'evil angel' nurse Megan Haines in Ballina, says this Mother's Day will be the toughest yet.

Megan Haines was jailed for at least 27 years in December 2016 after being found guilty of murdering Mrs Darragh, 82, and Isabella Spencer, 77, in May 2014 at Ballina's St Andrew's Village.

Killer nurse Megan Jean Haines murdered two residents at a Ballina nursing home.
Killer nurse Megan Jean Haines murdered two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Contributed

"Mum was murdered on May 10, 2014," Charli Darragh said.

"This Mother's Day falls on May 10 ... it's going to be really hard but I want people to remember Mum and remember what happened, to stop other people being murdered in nursing homes.

"I've put mum's name out there for the last six years, I don't want her to have died in vain.

The aged care advocate said she had an extremely tough six years and had tried to take her own life three times since her mother's murder.

• NURSING HOME DEATH: Daughter's call for change after mum's murder

But it has been her advocating work that has kept her going.

"All I want to do is get mums name out there and what had happened to her," the Gold Coast resident said.

"It's helped me, I got my strength from my mum to not give up, I'm grateful for that."

After her mum's death, the Gold Coast resident embarked on her mission to try and save other elderly people by setting up Facebook pages and groups to spread awareness on the issue.

"After her death I thought, 'there is so much abuse around,I couldn't save her, so will keep trying to and save others,'" she said.

"So I started the Angels for the Elderly Foundation Facebook page. I added as many people as I could and with the help of friends, we shared the media on what happened to spread awareness around the world."

She said about three years ago she united with other aged care advocates all over Australia and formed a group called Action on Elderly Abuse Facebook page.

"It stands for security, dignity, support, respect and justice," she said.

"All we want is our elders in nursing home to be treated like normal people," she said.

"The abuse around before the royal commission was disgusting. They don't deserve it.the least they can do in their elderly age is look after them."

"I've since closed that Facebook page down and joined everything up through another Facebook page, Charli Maree Darragh Matterson (Angels For The Elderly).

Since her mother's death, Ms Darragh has been fighting for CCTV and better staff-to-patient ratios.

"I have been begging for it for the last six years, hopefully when the commission resumes, we will get some action," she said.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has suspended hearings and workshops until further notice due to the risk to public and staff health from the coronavirus.

"If anyone suspects any abuse, they need to ring the Guardianship in NSW which is the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), to be directed to the appropriate place they have to go," Ms Darragh said.

She said she was busy writing her mother's book with a ghost writer called Thy Evil Angel which she planned to launch on her mother's birthday on September 7, 2022. 



Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

Premium Content Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

The two-vehicle collision left the teen with multiple upper body injuries.

HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

Premium Content HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

A museum for the historic coach fleet and more is on the cards for the Warwick...

Teen suffers serious head injury in crash

Premium Content Teen suffers serious head injury in crash

A LIFEFLIGHT rescue chopper is en-route to treat an 18-year-old who has sustained a...