Saturday 27 May 2017

Joe O'Reilly to appeal 'miscarriage of justice' dismissal

Joe O’Reilly: seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal an unsuccessful attempt to have his conviction for the murder of his wife Rachel declared a miscarriage of justice.. Photo: Garrett White / Collins
Joe O’Reilly: seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal an unsuccessful attempt to have his conviction for the murder of his wife Rachel declared a miscarriage of justice.. Photo: Garrett White / Collins

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Wife murderer Joe O'Reilly is to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal an unsuccessful attempt to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

In July 2007, O'Reilly was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife Rachel at their home in the Naul, Co Dublin.

Her badly beaten body was found in the bedroom of her home by her mother on October 4, 2004.

O'Reilly lost an appeal against his conviction and last year an application to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice was dismissed as an "abuse of process" by the Court of Appeal.

His lawyers returned to the Court of Appeal yesterday to seek legal aid for a Supreme Court action.

Barrister Ronan Munro BL, for O'Reilly, applied for legal aid to pursue an application to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal's dismissal of his earlier miscarriage of justice application.

However, Mr Justice George Birmingham, who oversees the procedural management of cases through the court on his own, said three judges would have to convene to deal with the matter.

Mr Munro attempted to advocate against the court's view that the same three judges had to decide on a legal aid application. However, Mr Justice Birmingham said "it would be different if this was routine, but it isn't".

"It seems you'll have to advance significant reasons" for legal aid for a future appeal, the judge said.

There wasn't an automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court, as there had been before the Court of Appeal was established, he said.

Irish Independent

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