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Graham Dwyer Trial: 'I have had bad relationships and I want to keep Gemma' - accused to gardai after his arrest on suspicion of murdering Elaine O'Hara


Graham Dwyer and his wife Gemma

Graham Dwyer and his wife Gemma

Graham Dwyer and his wife Gemma

GRAHAM DWYER told gardai he wanted to "keep" his wife Gemma before reiterating he "didn't kill anybody".

Mr Dwyer made his comments in an interview with gardai shortly after his arrest on suspicion of murdering Elaine O'Hara.

He said he would "jump in the river" if he was associated with Ms O'Hara's death, and if he no longer had the trust of his wife Gemma and his employers.

Earlier in the same interview, he stated on a number of occasions that he "didn't kill anybody". At one point, he told gardai he had no problem giving them his DNA.


Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

Detective Sergeant Peter Woods was giving evidence in the Central Criminal Court this morning about Mr Dwyer's arrest and subsequent interviews during his period of detention in Blackrock Garda Station.

This is the 36th day of the trial.

Mr Dwyer (42), an architect of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O’Hara (36), a childcare assistant, at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.​


Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara


Elaine O'Hara

During the first interview, Det Sgt Woods urged Mr Dwyer to consult with his solicitor again.

 “I think maybe you should talk to your solicitor again and if you did know her you should tell me,” St Woods said to the accused in the interview.

Then: “Are we going to connect you?”

“I don’t know, I do know I didn’t kill anybody,” Mr Dwyer repeated, saying of the case: “I don’t want to be associated with it.”

“Will I have a wife if I am associated with it? Who will employ me?”

He was told he had decisions to make and he could not make them on his standing in the community.

“I know,” he replied.

He was told gardai had a clear picture of Ms O’Hara’s mental health and her hopes and plans, Sgt Woods adding it was “sad her body was found in such a place.”

“It’s tragic,” Mr Dwyer replied.

He was then told gardai knew a huge amount Ms O’Hara’s sexual history and that “everything leaves a trace.”

“I’m listening,” Mr Dwyer replied.

He was told gardai had a list of her contacts.

“Somebody’s private life should be their private life,” Mr Dwyer said.

He was asked if he had heard about “what was recovered.”

“I don’t want to be on any tabloids. If I was even remotely associated with this I would jump in the river, if I wasn’t able to have my wife’s trust or my job,” he said.

“I’m a very lucky man, I want to keep it, I have had bad relationships and I want to keep Gemma.”

He was then told the gardai had very strong evidence and again asked how he thought they came to his door.

“I wouldn’t like to guess, I have made my decision. I didn’t kill anybody,” he said.

His detention period was then extended for six hours.

The memo was read to him and he was asked if it was correct.

“I would say so, yeah, that is pretty good,” he said. Asked if he wanted to add anything, he said: “A lot of it isn’t relevant.”

Sgt Woods told the court that Mr Dwyer signed the memo with his left hand. The time was 1.15pm.

At 1.40pm, his solicitor Mr Dunphy arrived at the station again and they consulted for half an hour.

The second interview began at 2.30pm, and Mr Dwyer said: “I’m not happy, I spoke to my solicitor and my wife has been asked to go to a garda station and my family have been contacted and it’s spread like wildfire. It has been in the media.”

He was told his wife had been taken to a safe location.

“I did not murder Elaine O’Hara,” he said, then repeated it.

He was asked if he had been at the Leopardstown site a lot. He said “varying times” but he could clear that up with his work diary.

“We have probably lost that job now it’s out,” he said.

“I would like to know how my life has been ruined by this case. How can I help you?” he asked.

He was asked if he remembered where he was on August 22, 2012.

“No,” he replied.

He was asked if he went on holiday and he said he went to Lanzarote but he was not sure when, adding that he usually went “around our birthdays.”

He said he had celebrated his 40th birthday in Bandon and was asked if he got “anything big.”

“We are very poor, I got a guitar and we all chipped in for the meal,” he said.

“Yes, I was in a rock band,” he told gardai, and asked if he was any good he said: “No.”

Asked what sort of music he liked, he said: “Depeche Mode, all kinds of bands.”

“U2?”, he was asked. “Yeah,” he replied. To the question “Dire Straits?”, he said: “Not so much.”

He told gardai about a shop he had bought a bicycle in, and about breaking an ankle. He said he rarely took his wife’s car out.

His plane was a “Tiger Moth,” he said and there was another discussion about that. He said he kept it at home and did not own a storage facility.

Mr Dwyer told detectives there were time sheets in his work place, which showed what’s on every day, and he was asked would it show if he was late back from work.

"No, but if I went flying she’d call me,” adding it would show a half day.

“If I didn’t answer an email it would look bad.

“It’s a bit of a ball and chain.”

He said he “sometimes” socialised with his colleagues and at lunch time would “wander down Grafton Street,” naming several shops he’d visited.

If he had an hour and a half he’d go to a model shop on Capel Street, he said.

He said his wife Gemma had some interest in the model aeroplanes, but didn’t go to competitions.

When asked about his daughter, he said she was “lovely” and his son “very close”.

Mr Dwyer was then asked several questions about an “old school friend since junior infants” who lived in Stepaside and maintained he was “the only person I know up there.”

He was then shown a picture of Ms O’Hara in glasses and said: “I see that.”

“I won’t tell any lies and I won’t give any mistruths,” he told the detectives.

“I’m not a killer, I’m not a saint,” he again said.

Det Sgt Woods told Mr Dwyer that they were there to help him tell his side.

“If my family and job are not the same I’ve nothing to live for.”

Mr Dwyer raised the issue of media coverage mentioning an architect, and the gardai discussed mobile phone tracking that was used in the O'Reilly case.

He confirmed he worked on Baggot Street and the detectives presented him with evidence compiled by crime analyst Sarah Skedd showing which cells his masts pinged off.

“When did she go missing? Where was my phone that day?” Mr Dwyer asked them.

The officers then show stills of CCTV taken at Belarmine Plaza in Stepaside – Ms O’Hara’s apartment block – which Det Sgt Woods claimed showed Mr Dwyer.

No date was given for this in court.

“Where did you think your phone was?” Det Sgt Woods asked, referring to the document which claimed he made a call at 8.14pm.

“I’ve no idea,” Mr Dwyer replied.

“Belarmine Plaza.. less than two minutes after to leave the building,” Det Sgt Woods said, according to the memo being read to the court.

The detective shows another still from June 23 2011 showing a male he believes was Mr Dwyer.

“I didn’t kill anybody,” the suspect replied.

“Is anyone else on the CCTV,” he also asks.

The detective refers back to the phone records and CCTV analysis and maintains Mr Dwyer’s phone pings off a mast in Stepaside and a still shows a man leaving after an hour.

“They are meaningless to me, I didn’t murder anybody,” he replied.

He’s shown a CCTV still of Ms O’Hara at Belarmine Plaza at 18.54.

“I’m not going to remember these,” he said.

He’s then shown a man leaving at 8.02pm and given information about his phone earlier pinging off Tree Rock.

“What’s that mean?” he asks.

“It means it was in the area and you said it’s with you all the time,” Det Sgt Woods said.

“I’m sorry I said that now if you’re going to do this.”

Gardai discussed with him if he should get more advice.

“I told you I’d been up there... I never denied being up there or Belarmine Plaza. Has anyone else been arrested for murder,” he said.

He told gardai that he had been in the shop at Belarmine “more than once” even though it's off the beaten track.

“I’ve probably been in most shops in Stepaside, Dun Laoghaire and Monkstown,” as well as petrol stations.

He’s again questioned about his work phone pinging off Stepaside Garda Station.

“How far apart are masts... Where’s the closest mast to my house,” he asks.

Det Sgt Woods raises the purchase of the phone - 083 1103474 – which was bought in a Three store on Grafton Street on March 25, 2011.

“I’ve never had that phone,” he replied.

He is told it was bought by a Goroon Caisholm, who gave the address Oak Lawn, Clerihan, Tipperary, and gave the number 086 2100407 – which is similar to Mr Dwyer’s number 087 2100407.

“That’s an 086,” he said, and later adds: “That’s my sisters (address). I don’t know what to say to that.”

He also denies knowing anyone with the name Goroon Caisholn.

Gardai told him that 083 number also pinged off a mast at Belarmine Plaza as well as one at Rochestown Hotel, which his work phones pings off when he is at home.

He was also asked about the purchase of two phones of the same model from the o2 shop on Grafton Street on November 30, 2011.

“That’s not my numbers,” Mr Dwyer said when the numbers were read to him - 086 1759151 and 086 1759076.

He was then asked if he ever contacted Ms O’Hara through any website.

“I can see why you knocked on my door... that's better in here. I didn’t kill anyone,” he said.

He told detectives he knew Ms O’Hara had been in hospital from media reports.

Det Sgt Woods said he believed Mr Dwyer had one of the phones and Ms O’Hara the other.

“Absolutely meaningless to me,” he added.

“I can see why I’m a person of interest,” he continued.

“You’re making huge assumptions. I would like you to use your phone technology to see where my phone was.”

The interview tape was changed at 17.59pm on October 17, 2013, and he was asked about his cars and about several top ups bought for the phone numbers.

These included purchases in Jones deli in Baggot Street, Belarmine, and where Ms O’Hara worked in Blackrock.

Mr Dwyer complained his arrest was in the media and that he had been missing the whole day.

“Just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean you’re guilty,” Det Sgt Woods told him.

“I didn’t kill anybody,” he replied.

He agreed with gardai that he had no difficulty giving DNA and they told him the test results would be used in evidence.

“Use it as long as you want,” he replied.

The court heard the third interview took place after another 12-hour extension of the detention period and the accused had again consulted his solicitor.

It began at 8.53pm, when Mr Dwyer confirmed that he had spoken to his solicitor four times altogether. He said he understood the reason for his arrest and was asked if he wanted to say anything about that.

“No, not at this time," he said. He was asked if he wanted to say anything in relation to Elaine O’Hara.

“No, not at this time but you know… no, not at this time,” he said.

It was put to him that there were notes on the top five cell sites used by his phone, an 083 phone he was alleged to have used and Ms O’Hara’s phone.

“Do you see a pattern?” he asked.

“I don’t,” he replied.

He said he did travel to Cork and Tipperary and he was asked about an 00MH- registered car which was registered to him. He said all his wife’s cars were registered to him.

He was asked about his phone pinging on cells including Cashel and Three Rock.

“I would like to know how big the areas are,” he replied.

The numbers of the “Master” and “Slave” phones were then read to him and he was asked “Do you know anything about Master and Slave?”

“Not at this time,” he said. “I am thinking about my wife and kids. I didn’t kill anyone. I know that.”

He was read cell site information from July 7 and 8, 2012 and it was put to him he was flying in Carron, Tipperary.

“We know you were there,” Sgt Woods said, then told the accused that the 086 175 9076 phone was there.

“I do know that is not my phone,” he said.

He was then told about Ms O’Hara’s iPhone having been synced and text messages had been recovered. A large number of these, were read to him.

Mr Guerin said this was before the times and dates of the texts were retrieved and Det Sgt Woods confirmed they were “fragments.”

The texts read back to him included references to a baby girl being born as well as one in which the sender wanted to knife someone.

“Jesus,” Mr Dwyer replied.

Messages including “off to the woods for fun and a burial” were read and he said: “That is not me.”

Other messages referred to looking for a “young female auctioneer” and he said: “Who is this supposed to be?”

It was put to him that “Graham’s number” was entered in Ms O’Hara’s diary with the 083 1103474 number and he said: “It’s not me, I can’t explain that, that is my name, it’s not my phone, it doesn’t make sense.”

A text about strangling an Asian girl unconscious in a lift was read to him and he said: “I am sorry, guys, that is not my phone.”

“You have a stabbing fetish, don’t you?” he was asked, and he replied: “Oh my God, that is not my phone.”

A text about the Polish Ambassador was read to him and he said: “You did ask me that, yeah.”

He was read a text in which the sender asked Ms O’Hara to wear polo necks.

“Aren’t you wearing a polo neck?” Mr Dwyer was asked.

“Everyone who knows me knows I wear polo necks,” he replied.

When read a text in which the sender said “I would have preferred you died by knife,” he said: “That is awful stuff.”

To a text stating “Killing is my new goal”, Mr Dwyer told the gardai: “Jesus.”

He was asked about a presentation in the Polish embassy and read a text about a “presentation” and he told gardai: “Look, that isn’t me, please stop.”

Later in the interview, he said: “I’m mortified, it’s awful.”

He was then asked what he had been looking at the night before his arrest and he said: “Horror movies.”

Asked to describe them, he said: “Horror scenes from horror movies. Erotic horror, it’s sort of art, to do with horror. Please stop. I am thinking of my wife and kids. My private life is my private life. Please stop. I’m mortified to describe it.”

He was asked if this gave him sexual pleasure.

“Don’t know, I believe you are trying to shock me, upset me,” he said.

As the detective continued to read graphic messages between the ‘Goroon’ phone and Ms O’Hara’s iPhone Mr Dywer said to them: “F**king hell that is nuts, that is not me.”

“Oh my god, who’s that from,” he said when they read one where the 083 texter tells Ms O’Hara he would adjust his kind offer so he could hang her.

“Isn’t it true you derive sexual pleasure from knives,” asked Det Sgt Wallace asked after he read several other texts.

“Please, I don’t want to talk about my sex life. Please stop. It’s not for me."

Mr Dwyer later interrupted the questioning: “Oh my god, can I stop you. That is not me.”

They read him the texts about a 15pc pay cut and the texter coming fifth "in the flying".

“Guess who came fifth... Graham Dwyer came fifth,” Det Sgt Woods said.

“Who came fifth? I can’t explain this,” he replied, adding “I didn’t get 15pc pay cut.”

He was asked about getting a bike and texts referring to “getting fit for murder” and getting to work 10 minutes faster on bike.

“These are all questions you asked earlier,” he replied.

As the texts continued, so did Mr Dwyer’s insistence that he knew nothing about the case.

“On my god, that’s not me, you’re trying to disgust me. I can’t explain these things.”

“I don’t want to hear anymore about rape and murder, it’s not my phone there are some things I can’t explain.”

He again said he liked horror movies and “wouldn’t be squeamish”, but refused to comment on his sex life.

The detectives asked him about the master and slave in BDSM, him replying: “It’s not as much about sex” as opposed to somebody looking for direction.

“Do you see yourself as a master,” they asked.

“This is the most private thing. I can’t talk about it please respect that. I’m very uncomfortable. I’d like to preserve my marriage thank you very much.”

As the texts continued he said: “Please stop, you’re trying to upset me, I don’t know what’s coming but it’s upsetting me.”

“What sex pleasure did Elaine get out of it?” Det Sgt Woods asks.

“I don’t know, I can’t say,” he replied.

The detective kept reading Mr Dwyer text after text, including some about research for a victim and “assume the position”.

“Please stop, Jesus Christ, please stop, is this going to go on all night,” he asks.

“I’m just going to read a few more,” Det Sgt Woods replied.

“Please stop reading them,”” he said.

He was asked about a text being sent saying “assume your position” and him appearing on the CCTV minutes later before later texting about photographs.

“I really don’t want you to read anymore, I’ve asked you 100 times,” he said.

Det Woods then told Mr Dwyer he had a statement from his former partner Emer McShea, mother of their son Sennan, who told gardai they had a normal sexual relationship until 1994 when he revealed that he fantasised about stabbing a woman during sex.

Mr Dwyer started to bring a kitchen knife in and leave it on their bedroom floor, before he progressed to holding it in his hand as they had sex, she had said.

She also identified him in six CCTV images from Belarmine Plaza.

"Oh my God,” he said.

“I’d say she enjoyed reading that and she’s delighted I’m in trouble,” he said, adding that if Emer wanted to hurt him “someone said some key words” to her.

“Is she telling lies that you derived pleasure from pretending to stab someone during sex,” Det Sgt Woods asked.

“It’s not. Ask my wife... Don’t ask my wife,” he replied.

He was again asked about the rucksack found in the reservoir, how well he knew Roundwood and the Sally Gap, and how the phones were found in the reservoir.

“You thought you had the perfect crime, how stupid of you,” Det Sgt Woods said.

“That’s not my phone,” Mr Dwyer replied.

At the end of the third interview Mr Dwyer was asked if he had anything to add or clarify.

“No that stuff in the middle is absolutely unnecessary,” he said about the text messages.

“That stuff in the middle is vital,” Det Sgt Woods replied.

The trial before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women continues.

Online Editors

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