GARDAI are believed to have recovered the 10 kg dumbbell used by Joe O’Reilly to beat his wife to death nine years ago.
The discovery was made in a stream by a local man two kilometres from the home Rachel shared with O’Reilly and their two children in the Naul in North County Dublin.
According to today’s Irish Daily Star, Joe O’Reilly had confessed to a friend of Rachel’s in 2004: “It (the murder weapon) is in the water.”
Fiona Slevin told the trial of Joe O’Reilly in 2007 that he had a bizarre conversation with her on the day of Rachel’s funeral, where he indicated the weapon used to beat Rachel was in the water.
According to Slevin, during a conversation they had about the murder investigation, O’Reilly said: “I don’t know why they are looking in the fields. It (the murder weapon) is in the water.”
She told the court: “It was like he said something he shouldn’t have.”
O’Reilly then went on to say to her: “Well if I did it, that’s where it would be. There’s water all around. That would get rid of all the DNA.”
The weapon used to kill the mother of two was never recovered, and Gardai have said it is the “missing link” in the case of O’Reilly, who is serving life for murdering his 30-year-old wife.
O’Reilly had told Gardai during the investigation he believed her killer used one of his own dumbbells to repeatedly strike Rachel O’Reilly in the head.
Medical evidence was heard at the trial that the post mortem revealed her injuries were consistent with those of someone bludgeoned with a heavy implement such as a dumbbell.
Gardai at the time carried out extensive searches in the north county Dublin vicinity to recover the murder weapon, but all searches at the time returned nothing.
The discovery of the rusted dumbbell two weeks ago in the stream by a man out walking his dog, brought members of the Garda forensic department in protective clothing to recover it from the stream.
The local man who made the discovery told The Star that he had noticed the dumbbell in the stream for about a month on his daily walk, and when he mentioned it to a friend, he advised him to contact the Gardai/
“It came up in conversation and someone said to me the dumbbell used in the Rachel O’Reilly killing had never been found.
“I said what a coincidence because Joe O’Reilly’s house is literally two lines from my house going down the hill.”