Tuesday 26 September 2017

Rachel O'Reilly's dad Jim calls for death penalty

Rachel O'Reilly
Rachel O'Reilly
Jim and Rose Callaly
Joe O'Reilly
Joe O'Reilly arriving at court during the trial
The family of Rachel O'Reilly leaves the Four Courts in Dublin after a guilty verdict was handed down to her husband Joe O'Reilly for her murder
Rachel O'Reilly aged 25
Rachel O'Reilly and Joe O'Reilly on their wedding day

Aishling Phelan

THE father of murdered mum-of-two Rachel O’Reilly has called for a death sentence to be brought back.

Jim Callaly said the only sufficient deterrent to those who plan to commit murder is to impose a death sentence for the crime.

“If we think ahead and try to save lives by bringing back the death sentence, we could save those future people that are going to be murdered,” he told Joe Duffy on RTE’s Liveline earlier today.

Mum-of-two Rachel (30) was found beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in the Naul, North County Dublin, on October 4, 2004.

In July 2007, her husband Joe O’Reilly was found guilty of bludgeoning his wife to death in their home and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Speaking today, Rachel’s father told of his belief that murderers should not be allowed to live because of the likelihood they will reoffend in the future.

“A lot of them would be psychopaths and sociopaths and a lot of them will reoffend, so what’s the point of keeping fellas like that, feeding them and keeping them for years and the taxpayer paying for them if they get out again and re-offend,” he said.

“We’re not solving any problems by giving them short sentences or long sentences. I think it will have to be looked into further,” he said.

Mr Callaly believes that the death sentence is the only appropriate “deterrent” to those who commit murder.

“What I’m saying is, I can’t do anything about it and whoever gets murdered today their family can’t do anything about it.”

He said he wasn’t always in favour of the death sentence, but his viewpoint has changed in recent years.

“I can’t see - the way the laws stand at the moment - life isn’t sacred anymore, there’s no value on it,” he said.

He said the courts are too lenient on those seeking appeals for serious crimes.

In February, Mr Callaly spoke of his disgust at the appeal by his daughter’s murderer O’Reilly to have his conviction overturned.

The heartbroken father admitted that he was in a daze for up to six years following the murder of his daughter.

“Every time I see a murder I think of what that family is going through,” he said.

He said his views on bringing the death sentence into law were all about saving lives.

“I’m thinking about trying to save people’s lives who are alive now and who should have a life.

“Why protect a murderer? Why make a cushy ride for him after killing someone’s son or daughter, father or mother. Why are all these laws there to protect him?” he added. 

O’Reilly lodged an application under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993 to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993 states that a person who remains convicted after appeal may apply to the court to have their conviction quashed based on alleged new or newly discovered facts that show a miscarriage of justice occurred.

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