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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Behind The Scenes

Graham Dwyer was looking forward to a steak dinner upon his release

The moment a man so certain of freedom on Thursday has had the door slammed on his previous middle-class life.

ON THURSDAY, Graham Dwyer apparently expressed the belief that he would be out enjoying a steak dinner and a glass of red wine this weekend.

In reality, he has just spent his first night as a convicted killer in the Cloverhill Prison.

Day 45 marked the end of the Graham Dwyer trial – a gruesome case, the likes of which few could have expected when they took their seat in Court 13 of the Criminal Courts of Justice in January.

Court 13 

After over seven hours of jury deliberations, speculation was rife in the court about when a verdict might be returned. Theories bounced around between members of the public, legal heads and media about when the jury would make their mind up. Only 12 people knew the answer.

Before returning a guilty verdict yesterday afternoon, the jury in the Graham Dwyer trial returned briefly to ask the judge a question. Each time the jury returned to the court, so did Graham Dwyer.

The Cork native and father of three has been in prison since he was charged in October 2013.

Taking his seat, Dwyer – dressed in a navy suit, white shirt and pink and purple tie, the same one he had been wearing all week – mouthed “question” to his legal team. He knew it wasn’t the verdict coming back at that very moment.

The foreman passed a note to Justice Tony Hunt. The judge clarified to the court that the jury wanted to know what the “ingredients for murder” are.

Judge Hunt said murder is the “same as any other crime” whereby you need a state of affairs and you need the appropriate mental intention. He told them they had to be satisfied the Elaine O’Hara was intentionally stabbed by Dwyer with the intention to kill or cause serious harm.

The jury said they were satisfied with the answer.

The court room settled down again, and Dwyer was escorted back to his holding cell.

The verdict 

Just a short time later, after most were convinced the deliberations would move on until Monday, the court began to fill up with the prosecution team and the gardaí who had worked tirelessly on the case.

“Verdict,” someone whispered. “This is it,” said a journalist.

The room quickly filled with members of the public, the defence team and the family of Graham Dwyer.

The last to join the court was the O’Hara family, who took their seats, holding hands.

Graham Dwyer emerged from the back door and took his seat. Never one to give away much with his facial reactions, he looked visibly more tense than usual. Tugging at his tie, he undid his top shirt button and loosened his tie, taking a deep breath.

Throughout the trial he gave little reaction to any of the vile aspects of the case, never flinching as texts read out in court said he was obsessed with the idea of stabbing and killing a woman, or when he was egging Elaine O’Hara on to end her life.

Even when his wife, Gemma Dwyer, the woman he said he only wanted to protect in his police interviews entered the court to give evidence, he showed no emotion.

Only when his depraved stories were read and his graphic videos were shown did he show slight reactions.

After over 200 witnesses, 327 exhibits and over 39 days of evidence, it all came down to this.

“All rise.” Justice Tony Hunt entered the court and was seated.

There were just two options for the jury: Guilty or not guilty of murder.


The jury were asked what their verdict was: “Guilty,” replied the foreman.

Graham Dwyer, a man who seemed so certain he would walk free, closed his eyes and shook his head.  His father and tearful sister were seated in the gallery and left shortly after the verdict.

Dwyer just looked straight ahead with a stare as the judge thanked the jury for their service.

Judge Hunt said that he agreed with their verdict “110%” before absolving them of jury duty for 30 years.

Dwyer released a statement later in the evening to thank his legal team, family, friends and colleagues. There was no mention of Elaine O’Hara or her family.

Graham Dwyer, the Foxrock architect, so confident of being released, has had the door slammed on his previous middle-class life.

A life he enjoyed with his wife and two young children.

He will be sentenced on 20 April at 2pm.

More: How long will Graham Dwyer be in prison for?

Graham Dwyer judge: ‘You can’t convict a man of murder and have any lingering doubts’

Earlier: Graham Dwyer was a “sadistic, brutal pervert with nothing on his mind other than murder”, jury told

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