Wednesday 26 June 2019

Sex killer who raped mother-of-three when she was dead or dying comes a step closer to freedom

Kenneth O’Reilly on a day out from prison in February. He killed Joyce Quinn when she stopped to give him a lift.
Kenneth O’Reilly on a day out from prison in February. He killed Joyce Quinn when she stopped to give him a lift.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A sex killer who raped his victim while she was dead or dying could be released early next year.

Kenneth O'Reilly (44) is serving a life sentence for the 1996 murder of mother-of-three Joyce Quinn.

However, it is understood that his case was reviewed by the Parole Board for the fifth time recently.

The board recommended that he re-engage with the therapeutic services open to him in jail, and told him his case will come back before it again in February next year.

Ms Quinn's family have said they are resigned to the fact that O'Reilly will be freed but they believe the public should know what he looks like now.

Ray Quinn, the victim's husband, also wants conditions to be put on his release to protect his family.

Joyce Quinn
Joyce Quinn

He said: "I know a day will come when he is released, and I am resigned to that, but my concerns are what happens after that.

"For a start, I would like it to be a condition of his release that he have to stay out of Co Kildare. My grown-up children still live in the area and I don't want any of us crossing paths with him on the street."

O'Reilly was 22 when he thumbed a lift from Ms Quinn, a 44-year-old shop owner, on the outskirts of Kildare town in January 1996.

But he then told her to stop the car, stabbed her in the heart and drove the car to a secluded location before raping her and stabbing her in the neck. His trial heard that at the time he raped Joyce she was either dying or already dead.

O'Reilly, who has been granted an increasing number of day releases for training and family visits, has been transferred recently to Wheatfield Prison.

It is expected he will continue to be granted days out as he comes closer to release.

Mr Quinn has written to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and has received a response indicating that his views will be "considered as part of the Parole Board review".

He said: "I consider O'Reilly to be dangerous. His crime was a sex crime which he tried to cover up by murder.

"The reason he wasn't prosecuted for rape is that it could not be established if Joyce was alive or dead when it happened.

"When he gets out, there will be women who weren't even born at the time Joyce was killed who will have no idea of his sex crime."

The first photograph of O'Reilly since his conviction, taken on a day out from jail, was published in February.

Irish Independent

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