State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy on her fascination with forensic pathology.

The first female State Pathologist for Ireland Professor Marie Cassidy joins comedian Colin Murphy on the set of 'Saturday Night With Miriam'.

From the outset of her career, Marie Cassidy found post-mortem work intriguing. She asked to work in forensics for a short period, but once she began, she knew it was for her. 

I just found it absolutely marvellous, I couldn’t do anything else.

On visiting a crime scene Marie Cassidy can determine within a matter of seconds whether a case is murder or not, but once the autopsy is done then she is 100% certain.

While some people may find forensic pathology gruesome, it does not affect Marie Cassidy. She is a professional and can detach herself from the corpse she is examining,

I don’t know this person so it’s not a huge sorrow to me.

Marie Cassidy explains how forensic examinations differ to post-mortems. Once the outside of the body is surveyed and samples taken, the internal organs and the brain are examined. To do this, the brain must be sawed open,

That’s what a lot of people don’t like.

Marie Cassidy and her colleagues can spend eight hour periods in the mortuary so it is helpful for them to share a sense of humour.  While they often have music in the workplace, Marie Cassidy’s personal preference is to work to upbeat songs by artists such as Daniel O’Donnell and Tom Jones.

This episode of ‘Saturday Night With Miriam’ was broadcast on 30 July 2005. The presenter is Miriam O'Callaghan.