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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
PA Archive/Press Association Images
# Courts
Joe O'Reilly cannot have his murder conviction declared a 'miscarriage of justice'
Rachel O’Reilly’s mother said she is relieved that justice has been upheld.

JOE O’REILLY HAS LOST his appeal to have his murder conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

O’Reilly – who was convicted in July 2007 of murdering his wife Rachel at their home in north Dublin under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993 – was attempting to have that conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

The judgement on the Director of Public Prosecution’s motion to have that thrown out was heard this morning in front of the three judge Court of Appeal. This morning, it threw out his miscarriage of justice application over those DPP objections.


Justice George Birmingham said it was an “unacceptable strategy” to raise the arguments O’Reilly had dismissed the motion.

His application was based upon the third day of his trial in which a portion of the book of evidence was found in the jury room.

The judge said that both counsel decided how to deal with the matter on the day and said O’Reilly was fully informed and fully engaged with what was happening at the time.

He said to raise the issue now was unacceptable, said the judge.

Joe O'Reilly court case PA Archive / Press Association Images The family of Rachel O'Reilly including parents Rose and Jim Callely (centre) in 2009. PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Rachel’s mother, Rose Callaly, was in court for the hearing. Speaking afterwards, she said she was relieved that the law has been upheld and justice service.

No remorse

“Thank god we are over another hurdle,” she continued. “Once he is behind bars, then I don’t mind. He still hasn’t admitted to doing anything and he still hasn’t shown any remorse. It would make a huge difference if he showed remorse. I don’t know how to put it into words but it would.”

Callaly also said that each appeal “brings it all back”.

O’Reilly has previously lost appeals against his murder conviction on two occasions. In 2009, the Chief Justice John Murray said its grounds were not well founded.

In August of 2012 another bid for freedom failed, after he attempted to argue that his detention at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise was unlawful.

Dressed in a navy suit and tie, the wife killer did not react as Justice George Birmingham dismissed his appeal today.

O’Reilly is serving life in prison for killing his 30-year-old wife Rachel – who was beaten to death at their home in the Naul in October of 2004.

He has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

More: Graham Dwyer has lodged an appeal against his murder conviction

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