Thursday 19 September 2019

'I think certain things bring out the evil' - Heartbroken parents of tragic Rachel O'Reilly on wife-killer Joe

Pictured in 2010 Rose and Jim Callaly hold a photo of their daughter Rachel. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Pictured in 2010 Rose and Jim Callaly hold a photo of their daughter Rachel. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Jim and Rose Callaly
Joe O'Reilly

Mary McDonnell

THE parents of murder victim, Rachel O’Reilly, have revealed they knew her killer husband was “pure evil” the day he showed them the blood-spattered room where he killed her.

Even as twisted killer, Joe O’Reilly gave TV interviews feigning innocence before he was arrested, Rachel’s parents, Jim and Rose Callaly knew he was guilty and felt they had been “touched by evil”.

In an RTE documentary airing tonight, the heartbroken parents detail the moment O’Reilly acted out the 2004 murder in front of them in a blood-spattered room.

Speaking on the Would You Believe? programme, Rachel’s father Jim Callaly said: “He was pure evil. He brought us up to the bedroom and he said she was lying there and whoever done it was battering her on the back of the head like this.

Rachel O'Reilly was beaten to death in October 2004
Rachel O'Reilly was beaten to death in October 2004

“And then he even got down on his knees and started doing… and then he must have done it like this. There was blood spatters all around the wall and ceiling. It was like being in an abattoir.

“When he saw we were disturbed, his eyes started dancing in his head. His eyes were bouncing. I said to myself: ‘Jesus a madman’.”

O’Reilly attacked the 30-year-old mother of two during a mid-morning visit to their rural bungalow home in The Naul, Co Dublin, on October 4, 2004.

It emerged he had devised an elaborate plan to make it look like an intruder had bludgeoned her to death.

Murder victim Rachel O'Reilly with her killer husband Joe
Murder victim Rachel O'Reilly with her killer husband Joe

The heartbroken parents previously told the Irish Independent they hold O’Reilly partly responsible for Rachel’s sister, Ann’s death.

She died of cancer less than three years after he was jailed for the horrific crime.

Mr Callaly told the newspaper in July: "I put down Ann's death to his murder of Rachel and how Ann was living in fear while he was out and about for three-and-a-half years before his conviction.”

On the RTE programme due to air tonight, Rachel’s mother Rose said she believes convicted killer O’Reilly has “no conscience”.

She said: “That day I came out of that house and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he had done it. When I realised who done it, a person she had trusted with her life, and the mother of his two children, and then to know then afterwards that it was planned, well I don’t think you could do anything like that and have a conscience.

“I don’t honestly think he has a conscience. When you’d look into his eyes there is nothing there. That had to be evil. I sort of feel he is evil."

Mr Callaly said: “I think there was evil in him and I think certain things bring out the evil, greed, jealousy, hatred. There’s something amiss in the brain or he may be possessed by someone.”

Evil – Would You Believe? will be shown on RTE One tonight at 10.35pm.

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