herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Joe O'Reilly 'will free himself' if he stops telling lies, says Rachel's mum

Crime

Joe O'Reilly
Joe O'Reilly
Rose and Jim Callaly pictured with favourite pictures of their daughter Rachel, at their home in Dublin.

Rose Callaly has spoken of her relief after her daughter's murderer lost the latest appeal against his conviction.

Joe O'Reilly's bid to have his conviction for murdering his wife declared a miscarriage of justice was thrown out by the Court of Appeal prior to a full hearing. O'Reilly bludgeoned his wife Rachel to death in their home in the Naul, Co Dublin, in October 2004.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said yesterday it was an "unacceptable strategy" to raise the arguments O'Reilly had raised at this point.

Mrs Callaly was present in the Court of Appeal when the judgment was delivered. She said she felt thankful that her former son-in-law will continue serving his life sentence.

"Thank God justice has been seen to be done again," she told Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

"If Joe O'Reilly stops telling lies he will set himself free."

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Rose and Jim Callaly pictured with favourite pictures of their daughter Rachel, at their home in Dublin.

O'Reilly claimed he was away at work when Rachel was murdered, but mobile phone evidence indicated he had visited the family home at the time she was killed. He was convicted in July 2007 of murder.

"He has continued to lie about it and thank God for technology - that's really what got him," said Mrs Callaly. "I think he thought he had committed the perfect murder.

"He is where he deserves to be and if he admits it and he stops telling lies, he will set himself free. He mightn't feel as bad as he does now. He gave up his freedom the day he done what he done and he doesn't deserve to have freedom. I really believe now that life should be life."

Pat Kenny reminded Mrs Callaly of the night when he interviewed her and Joe O'Reilly on the Late Late Show before he had been charged with his wife's.

The broadcaster asked her yesterday if she believed at the time that he had killed her daughter.

"The night we were on the Late Late, I knew. I hadn't the shadow of a doubt in my mind," she said.

"It was so hard to have to sit beside him and listen to him and look at him knowing what he did. After a while it became apparent to him that we knew so he sort of kept away then."

Mrs Callaly said she could never thank the gardai enough for the "brilliant" job they had done.

She spoke of having nightmares after finding her daughter's bloodied body and how O'Reilly knew she would find her in that condition.

punishment

"I know I couldn't close my eyes for a long time," Mrs Callaly said. "Every night that scene would come before my eyes. And I just had nightmares.

"And then my greatest wish would be that he would get the same scene when he'd go asleep. But obviously it didn't affect him that way.

"That would be my punishment for him. If he was confronted with what he had done and could feel it."

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