Thursday 23 March 2017

Rachel O'Reilly's sister Ann dies after cancer battle

Ann Callaly (inset and above, on right) celebrating with her sister Rachel at a family wedding in Rome in 2003
Ann Callaly (inset and above, on right) celebrating with her sister Rachel at a family wedding in Rome in 2003

THE sister of murder victim Rachel O'Reilly has died at the age of 31 after losing her battle with cancer.

Ann Callaly passed away at 5am yesterday. She had been ill for some time.

Ms Callaly regularly attended the hearings during the trial of Joe O'Reilly in 2007 for the murder of her sister.

Rachel, a mother of two, was bludgeoned to death at her home in the Naul, Co Dublin, in October 2004.

In January 2008, six months after Joe O'Reilly was convicted of murder, Ms Callaly discovered she had a tumour behind her eye.

She underwent aggressive treatment for the cancer but, after a short period of remission, she learned in February this year that the tumour had returned.

She again underwent chemotherapy but it is understood her family was told in recent weeks to prepare for the worst.

She is survived by her parents Jim and Rose, and brothers, Tony, Paul and Declan.

In the book 'Remembering Rachel', Rose Callaly wrote how she was amazed by Ann's courage following Rachel's death and her cancer diagnosis.

"I do not know how she has coped so well; she is an example to all of us," she wrote.

"She has needed every ounce of her boundless energy to get through the vigorous schedule of operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments."

Ms Callaly's funeral Mass is expected to be held at the Holy Child Church in Whitehall, their local parish, early next week.

Irish Independent

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