Monday 24 October 2016

Murderer Dwyer's bid to erase old life from the internet

Published 04/01/2016 | 02:30

Graham Dwyer Photo: Collins Courts
Graham Dwyer Photo: Collins Courts
Elaine O'Hara

Killer Graham Dwyer pleaded with friends to remove all photos and references to him from their social media pages, local websites and club profiles before his murder trial.

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It has emerged that Elaine O'Hara's murderer was so determined to limit details about his personal life that he even pleaded with one Cork friend, whose wedding he had attended overseas, to ensure that any photos on Facebook and other sites did not include Dwyer.

The Bandon friend, who asked to be unnamed, confirmed to the Irish Independent that all such photos were removed from social media sites as a result before the trial.

Despite this, photos of Dwyer with his beloved model planes and attending a scout reunion in his native Bandon in west Cork still emerged following his high-profile murder trial.

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Dwyer was so paranoid about the possible media coverage of his private life that he spent hours trawling through social media to check what references were still listed about him.

He then contacted friends if there were images posted about him that he wanted removed.

So effective was Dwyer's campaign to erase all traces of his personal life in Bandon and Dublin that even his old school removed his class photo from the wall amid fears that it could be secretly copied.

Since the shocking revelations at the murder trial, many of Dwyer's friends have severed all contact with him.

Dwyer had earlier contacted all his supporters to reassure them of his innocence - and to vow that he would overturn his murder conviction at a Court of Appeal hearing, which is likely to take place within weeks.

His Cork-based family remain steadfastly loyal and have been visiting him in prison.

Dwyer, of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin, was convicted of murdering Ms O'Hara (36) on August 22, 2012. The skeletal remains of the childcare worker were found on Killakee Mountain, Rathfarnham, Dublin on September 13, 2013.

The trial last March ranked as one of the most high-profile murder trials in Irish history.

After a marathon hearing, the Central Criminal Court jury convicted Dwyer of stabbing Ms O'Hara to death for his own sexual gratification. He received a mandatory life sentence.

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His appeal is expected to centre on a number of forensic, evidential and technical issues.


These include how gardaí obtained evidence from a bin outside his home; the admission of critical telecommunications data; allowing a key witness to give evidence via video-link; the admissibility of key material obtained from Ms O'Hara's IT devices; and the impact of allowing video recordings, some involving violent sexual activity, to be viewed by the jury.

Dwyer was born on September 13, 1972 and grew up in west Cork. He had an unremarkable childhood in Bandon, briefly playing in a local band and becoming very involved in the local scout unit.

West Cork locals recalled him as a quiet, studious young man who kept in close contact with his parents, Sean and Susan, siblings and friends.

The architect was described at the trial as someone for whom "wickedness (was) hiding behind a mask of pity" and who had a taste for violent sexual practices. But in his native Bandon he was known as a former boy scout, an honours graduate of Hamilton High secondary school and a young man who kept in close touch with his family and local friends.

Irish Independent

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