herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

O'Reilly death home sells for €80k over original asking price

The bungalow where Joe O’Reilly killed Rachel has been sold
The bungalow where Joe O’Reilly killed Rachel has been sold

The north Dublin house where Joe O'Reilly murdered his wife Rachel in 2004 has sold for €80,000 more than its asking price, despite its history.

The secluded bungalow, which had been deteriorating and lying idle since O'Reilly was charged with the brutal killing in 2006 was put on the market for €125,000 last March.

A listing on the Property Price Index now shows that the house, Lambay View in Baldar, sold for €206,000.

The three-bedroom bungalow in the Naul was put on display by estate agent Paul G Grimes.

Revamp

In their brochure on the property they described it as a three-bedroom detached dormer bungalow measuring 150sq metres, with a detached garage on 0.7 acres of mature gardens.

"The property is in need of modernisation and upgrading," the ad said.

Since buying the house the new owners have employed a team of tradespeople to revamp and upgrade the bungalow, which features scenic views of Lambay Island.

Gutters and soffits have been replaced on the outside and the interior has been gutted. Exterior walls have been lined with insulated plasterboard to improve the energy efficiency of the house.

It will still be a number of weeks before work is completed and the new owners will be able to move in.

Sources have told the Herald that Joe O'Reilly will not benefit from the proceeds of the house sale.

Rachel (30) died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head in one of the house's bedrooms in October 2004.

Her body was found by her mother Rose in the bedroom of the house she shared with her husband on the afternoon of October 4, 2004.

After the murder O'Reilly claimed Rachel had been killed in a botched burglary, and he even invited the media into the house to show where he said he thought the crime had taken place.

He left items from the house strewn on the roadside in an effort to convince gardai that it was a burglar who had killed his wife.

He also sensationally claimed that the killer had showered in the house before he left the scene in order to clean the blood off himself.

When the house was put on the market a total of 19 photographs online showed images from both outside and inside the property.

In her book Remembering Rachel, her mother Rose described the moment when she discovered her daughter's body in the married couple's bedroom.

"Rachel was lying in such a horrific state that I will not attempt to describe the scene … but the image of it will haunt me until my dying day," she wrote.

Rachel's father Jim Callely previously told the Herald that he hoped the new owner of the house would either bring it up to a modern standard and live in it with a family, or raze it to the ground and build a new house on the site.

Dreams

"It's all out of my hands of course, but I hate to see it going to rack and ruin. It's not a fitting legacy to the hopes and dreams that Rachel had for the place," he said.

"I'd like to see somebody happy in it, with a fresh start. I never go to it because of its past and its connection with Rachel," Jim added.

After lying idle for nearly 10 years, the bungalow had fallen into disrepair and the gardens and grounds around it had become overgrown and unkempt.

O'Reilly is now serving life in Arbour Hill for the murder of Rachel. He is preparing for a last-ditch attempt at freedom with a miscarriage of justice appeal that he hopes will be heard before the Supreme Court.

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