A US judge has dismissed the hearing in the case of two Irish children at the centre of a custody battle, paving the way for them to return to Ireland.

Judge April Woods at Davidson County Court in North Carolina dismissed the case of Molly Martens, the US woman who was seeking custody of her stepchildren, 10-year-old Jack and 8-year-old Sarah Corbett. 

It follows the order by Brian Shipwash, Clerk of the Superior Court of North Carolina, on Tuesday to grant guardianship of the children to the Lynchs.

That order states that it is in the children's best interests to live with their paternal aunt Tracey Lynch and her husband David.

The Limerick-born children had been in the custody of their stepmother for two weeks after their father was found dead in the upstairs bedroom of his home in Panther Creek Court, Wallburg, North Carolina on 2 August last.

Jason Corbett's death followed what police have described as a "domestic incident".

Ms Martens and her father Thomas, a retired FBI agent, have been described by police as "persons of interest" in the case but no arrests have been made.

Speaking to RTÉ news, Ms Lynch said she is delighted with the court's decision and hopes to leave for Ireland at the weekend. 

She said the family wants to focus on the healing process and return to Ireland to bury her brother. 

Mr Corbett's body has already been repatriated to Ireland, but his family had insisted they would not bury him until his children were brought home.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, a brother of the children's mother Mags Corbett who died nine years ago after an asthma attack, spoke of his family's relief.

"We are really relieved and happy and so proud of Tracey and David, Paul and Marilyn. They were just amazing. We are so happy and can't wait to see the two kids".

He said both families waited in the home of Mr Corbett's parents, Rita and John, for news from North Carolina, a wait he described as "nerve wrecking".