Wednesday 20 March 2019

Evil sex killer who stabbed mum Joyce to death is one step closer to freedom

Convicted murderer Kenneth O’Reilly
Convicted murderer Kenneth O’Reilly

Twisted sex killer Kenneth O'Reilly, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of mother-of-three Joyce Quinn, is one step closer to being a free man, the Herald can reveal.

The 44-year-old was 22 when he thumbed a lift from shop owner Joyce (44) on the outskirts of Kildare town on January 23, 1996.

He then told her to stop the car, stabbed her in the chest and drove to a secluded location, before raping her and stabbing her in the neck.

His trial heard that the wound to her chest penetrated her heart, meaning that when he raped Joyce she was either dying or already dead.

O'Reilly pleaded guilty to murder, but he was never charged with sexual assault and rape - a fact that has angered Joyce's heartbroken husband, Ray.


He believes that O'Reilly, who lived not far from Joyce's shop, had gone out with the intention of having sex with her, but killed her so she could not identify him.

The Herald understands that O'Reilly has recently had his case reviewed by the Parole Board for the fifth time, where letters from his family were reviewed.

The board recommended that O'Reilly re-engage with the therapeutic services open to him in jail, and informed him his case will come back before it next February - when he will hope to convince the board to release him.

O'Reilly was also recently transferred from Arbour Hill Prison to Wheatfield so that more sex offenders could be accommodated in Arbour Hill.

He had been granted increasing numbers of day releases from Arbour Hill for family visits and training, and it is expected that this arrangement will continue at Wheatfield as he comes closer to release.

Mum-of-three Joyce Quinn
Mum-of-three Joyce Quinn

Joyce's family has said they are resigned to the fact that killer O'Reilly will some day be freed, but they wanted the public to know what he looks like now so that they can recognise him when he is back on the streets.

"I know a day will come when he is released, and I am resigned to that, but my concerns are what happens after that," Ray Quinn told the Herald.

"For a start, I would like it to be a condition of his release that he have to stay out of Co Kildare.

"My grown-up children still live in the area and I don't want any of us crossing paths with him on the street.

"His family live close to some of my wider family and there is a chance they could bump into each other."

Mr Quinn has written to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan over the issue, and has received a response indicating that his views will be "considered as part of the Parole Board review".

"I also consider O'Reilly to be dangerous," Mr Quinn added.


"His crime was a sex crime which he tried to cover up by murder.

"The reason he wasn't prosecuted for the rape is that it could not be established if Joyce was alive or dead when it happened.

"I'm annoyed that he wasn't tried for rape also, so I feel it is important that people know what he looks like.

"Rape was his primary motive, yet when he gets out there will be women who weren't even born at the time Joyce was killed who will have no idea of his sex crime."

In February the Herald printed the first photograph of O'Reilly since his conviction. He was being released from Arbour Hill for the day when the picture was taken.

"I'm glad I know what he looks like now," Mr Quinn said on seeing the photograph.

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