THE mother of murdered Rachel O'Reilly has described the family's "horrific" torment at the continued legal appeals of her killer.
Rachel's husband Joe O'Reilly was convicted of murder five years ago – but he has maintained his innocence and launched a series of legal challenges since then.
Rachel's mother, Rose Callaly, said that the continued appeals have meant that the family have had to keep on suffering. She appealed to her son-in-law to "just admit what he has done".
The devastated mother's call came after the wife-killer was yesterday granted free legal aid in order to take a case for miscarriage of justice. O'Reilly (38) was granted legal aid by Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman at a hearing in the Court of Criminal Appeal. A lawyer for the State said there was no objection.
"As long as he keeps on appealing it we have to keep on suffering and suffering. I can't put into words how it makes us feel – it's horrific," Mrs Callaly said.
"I know with every fibre of my body that he is guilty. I wish that he would grow a conscience and just admit to what he has done.
"I'm hoping I'll be in my grave before he gets out," she said.
State solicitor Padraic Taylor told the court that O'Reilly had personally lodged an application under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993.
According to the Act, a person who remains convicted following appeal may apply to the court to have their conviction quashed. The appeal should be based on alleged new or newly discovered facts that show a miscarriage of justice occurred. O'Reilly lodged a statement of means with the court last month.
O'Reilly murdered his wife, 30-year-old Rachel, in October 2004. Despite the conviction O'Reilly has always claimed that he is innocent.
Mrs Callaly said she hoped the family would continue to receive justice for Rachel. "Life should mean life," she said.