Saturday 20 January 2018

Not even a scintilla of remorse as Judge sums up 'evil' that is Dwyer


Det Gda Brid Wallace, Det Gda James Mulligan, Det Sgt Peter Woods and Det Insp Brian Duffy leave court
Det Gda Brid Wallace, Det Gda James Mulligan, Det Sgt Peter Woods and Det Insp Brian Duffy leave court

GRAHAM Dwyer arched in his seat like a cat and compressed his lips in clear displeasure as Judge Tony Hunt said everything to the murderer that had been on his mind all along.

Justice Tony Hunt did not pull any punches and it clearly made for uncomfortable listening for Dwyer.

It was only when he got to the part where he mentioned Dwyer's wife, Gemma, and the "pitiful" condition she had been in during her court appearance and the unenviable position she had been left in, with two young children, that Dwyer finally bowed his head and made some appearance of regret.

Turtle-like, he seemed to crawl into his shell for the duration of this.


At one point he even looked to be on the verge of tears and gazed steadily at the ceiling lights.

But it was impossible to feel pity for the killer who had so brutally extinguished the life of Elaine O'Hara who "loved to help people".

In any case, this brief flash of remorse was but fleeting and was replaced swiftly by Dwyer's continued arrogance in the face of justice.

Even as the judge went on to criticise the publication of the maiden name of Dwyer's wife, asking what purpose it served, Dwyer himself appeared to look almost amused.

Justice Hunt spoke of how the reservoir at Vartry had 'yielded up (Dwyer's) dirty little secrets.'

He had no regard for Elaine but only for what he could get out from her, he said.

The judge said he did not know how long Dwyer would spend in jail but noted that he had not expressed remorse of any kind.

There had been the bizarre spectacle of a convicted murderer issuing a press statement which did not refer to the deceased woman, he said.

He described the killing of Elaine as a chilling and premeditated murder - almost an execution - after a protracted campaign of the most vile manipulation of a woman too weak to resist. Judge Hunt said the public could be thankful that a very dangerous man is now out of the way.

"He is in his place of arrogance and delusion and there he'll stay for the life sentence that I am about to commit him to," he said.

Dwyer appeared to be furious with the Judge for his unprecedented tirade against him and at one point, seemed to smile maliciously and smugly in his direction, crinkling his eyes.

The courtroom was packed to a capacity never seen even during the course of the trial, with some curious onlookers queueing up since 8.30am.

But it was a fruitless enterprise because once the gardai, family members, friends and media were in place, there was scarcely a seat left for anybody else, regardless of how long they had been waiting.

One woman even had the canny foresight to bring a camp stool.

"I thought I'd seen it all but this beats everything," said a senior barrister as he glimpsed the hoards of impatient people waiting to enter as he left Courtroom 13 after another case.

As he took his seat, Dwyer looked relaxed and fresh-faced.

Years seemed to have rolled away from him and to all appearances, he has settled into life in prison.

He looked healthy. His hair was longer and looked a little lank and he was wearing his customary suit that he had worn throughout the trial.

His relaxed demeanour would have been remarkable if it wasn't so chilling.

There was still not a sign of remorse for what he had done, even as he heard the Victim Impact Statement and how the O'Hara family had laid flowers in the sea a year after Elaine's disappearance, presuming that she had taken her own life.

The flood of questions still remaining for the O'Hara family left him completely unmoved.

His own faithful father, Sean, who had travelled up from Bandon, Co Cork for the hearing was in his familiar seat closest to his son.

Elaine O'Hara's father, Frank, his partner, Sheila Hawkins, Elaine's brother, John and sister, Ann Charles were in their own usual bench.


The judge had invited the jury back as a form of 'closure' and just one juror stayed away from the opportunity of watching Dwyer go down.

Justice Hunt told them that he was surprised and delighted to see so many of them back.

Then, chin in hand, he sat back and listened as Det Sgt Peter Woods gave a summary of the garda case before the Victim Impact Statement was read aloud.

It was poignant and emotional and for once, it gave an opportunity for the court to hear about Elaine the person, rather than Elaine the victim.

We heard of her love for children, her intelligence and her love of helping others.

All the while, Dwyer sat listening intently but without a shadow of guilt or sorrow for the woman whom he had manipulated and preyed upon before snuffing her life out.

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