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Graham Dwyer drew map for gardaí to find two knives in his office, court hears

The trial of the man accused of killing Elaine O’Hara also heard from a tattoo artist about an email relating to a tattoo in a “private area”.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Updated at 6.30pm

GRAHAM DWYER DREW gardai a map that led them to two knives in the basement of his architect’s office, his trial has heard. One knife had been delivered on the day before Elaine O’Hara went missing.

A detective sergeant gave the evidence this morning on the 12th day of the 42-year-old’s trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Dwyer is charged with Ms O’Hara’s murder in the Dublin Mountains at Killakee, Rathfarnham on 22 August 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital.

The Cork-born father of three of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 36-year-old childcare worker on that date.

Detective Sergeant Peter Woods testified that on 17 February 2014, he received a fax from Mr Dwyer’s solicitor, Jonathan Dunphy. It included a hand-drawn map of the basement of A&D Wejchert Architects, where Mr Dwyer was a partner.

Detective Sgt Woods explained that this was something done on the initiative of the accused and his solicitor, not of the gardai, and that it was provided voluntarily.

Headed ‘Items of Interest’, it was divided into a plan of the basement showing areas including file storage and a view looking into the that filing area.

There were also written directions to a shelf, where two items would be found in one of two file boxes.

The knives

The detective said that he and two colleagues took the map to the premises and were shown to the area where the old files were stored.

“In box 980, I found two knives, one larger than the other,” he said.

The two knives were shown on screens throughout the courtroom before the detective took the larger knife out of its scabbard and held it up for the jury.

He explained that it wouldn’t fit into a protective tube used by gardai so he’d put it in an evidence bag.

“This is the way we found it, in the leather scabbard,” he said. He explained that, when purchased, this knife comes in a presentation box.

He said that the scabbard was in good condition, apart from a number of small marks on the leather.

He also took the smaller knife out of its plastic tube.

“It’s a flick knife,” he explained, showing the court and jury how to flick the blade out by pressing a spring button.

He explained that the flick knife had been closed and that the safety had been on when they found it. Both knives were in good condition, he said, describing the larger one as very clean.


Under cross examination by Remy Farrell SC, defending, the detective confirmed that his client had been charged on 8 October 2013.

He agreed that a book of evidence was subsequently prepared and it was clearer what the garda case would be.

Mr Farrell put it to him that it was apparent from the book of evidence that the gardai were attaching considerable significance to documents that showed a Buck Special knife had been ordered from Active Hunting Ireland.

“The fact it was delivered on the 21st of August was hugely significant,” replied the detective.

He agreed that there was concern that this knife hadn’t been found and that this sketch map showed where it was.

Michael Fenlon of Active Hunting Ireland told the court that Graham Dwyer had ordered a Buck Special 119 with a billing address to his Foxrock home, to be delivered to his work on Lower Baggot Street. He identified the knife from a photograph as being of a Buck Special 119.

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A note on the order form had read: “Please mark package private and confidential, Graham”. Such a note, said Mr Fenlon, would come from the customer who had ordered the item.


In other evidence yesterday, Garda Chris Boylan told how he found a shovel or spade in a wooded area close to the location where Ms O’Hara’s remains where found in September 2013.

During cross-examination, he was shown a Garda photograph taken of a spade in Graham Dwyer’s back garden; he was then asked to identify a photograph of the spade he found in the woods.

When asked if he agreed that the two spades were “virtually identical in terms of its make”, Gda Boylan said, “It looks quite similar”.

Tattoo request

The trial also heard from Christoff Hylinski, from Hydraulix Tattoos – a tattoo studio in Dublin. He said that his company sent an email to  the address irl3543@gmail.com and that it included a sentence, which read: “We have separate areas in our studio for jobs like this”.

This sentence referred to a “job in a more private area of the body”. The court was then shown Graham Dwyer’s membership card for Golden Eagles Model Aero Club in Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding over the trial, objected to the prosecution’s request that Mr Hylinski confirm if the number on the card was the same as the number on the email address his company had been in correspondence with, saying that it wasn’t his role to answer that.

“It seems apparent,” concluded the judge.

The trial has heard that Ms O’Hara’s skeletal remains were discovered at Killakee on Friday, 13 September 2013. A cause of death could not be determined.

Glasses found in Vartry Reservoir in Roundwood a few weeks later matched her prescription and frames, and keys to her home and car were also found in the lake.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of five women and seven.

About the author:

Natasha Reid

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