herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Life must mean life for killers – Rachel's mum

Joe O'Reilly. Photo: Courtpix
Joe O'Reilly. Photo: Courtpix

THE mother of murdered Rachel O'Reilly has said that killers should spent the rest of their lives behind bars.

Rose Callaly was speaking as the nine-year anniversary of Rachel's killing at her home in the Naul, north County Dublin, approaches on October 4.

The heartbroken mother also said that killers constantly appealing against their sentences and convictions cause stress to the families of victims.

Rose called for changes in the justice system and consistent sentencing for murder.

Joe O'Reilly was sentenced to life in 2007 for the 2004 murder of his wife at their home. He bludgeoned her to death before driving back to work in Dublin.

He never admitted guilt in the case and has shown no remorse, which should mean he will not be considered for parole for a long time.

All his appeals have failed; last March O'Reilly's bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage was struck out by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

However, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman granted O'Reilly's lawyers permission to re-enter the application.

"I can't get my head around how there can be appeal, after appeal, after appeal. It just doesn't make sense," said Rose. "The justice system needs to be more decisive because it seems to me that killers are getting as many chances as they want to get out."

She called for a system where the courts rule on a minimum time a killer will spend behind bars. "If we had a minimum sentence here, a victim's family could at least relax a little, knowing that justice is being served," Rose Callaly said.

She said that it is her belief that life should mean life.

"Murderers shouldn't see the outside of jail for the rest of their lives, I think."

cfeehan@herald.ie

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