Saturday 17 March 2018

'We never want to cross his path' - husband of murdered mum-of-three wants killer banned from Kildare on release

Exclusive photo of killer Kenneth O'Reilly on a day out from prison

Kenneth O'Reilly pictured on day release earlier this week
Kenneth O'Reilly pictured on day release earlier this week
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The husband of a murdered mother-of-three wants her convicted killer to be banned from Kildare on his release.

This is the first photo of killer Kenneth O’Reilly on a day out from prison as he inches closer to being released after more than 20 years behind bars.

O’Reilly, now 44, was given a life sentence for the 1996 murder of Kildare woman Joyce Quinn. He also raped the mother-of-three.

As he nears freedom, Ms Quinn’s family wants the public to know what he looks like as they consider him a danger.

The photos above are the first of O’Reilly to be made public since his conviction.

O’Reilly was only 22 when he thumbed a lift from local shop owner Ms Quinn (44) on the outskirts of Kildare town on January 23, 1996.

Ray Quinn, husband of Joyce Quinn who was murdered in 1996 by Kenneth O’Reilly
Ray Quinn, husband of Joyce Quinn who was murdered in 1996 by Kenneth O’Reilly

However, he then told her to stop the car, stabbed her in the heart and drove to a secluded location before raping her and stabbing her in the neck.

His trial heard that the wound to her chest penetrated her heart, meaning that at the time he raped her she was either dying or already dead.

O’Reilly pleaded guilty to murder, but was never charged with sexual assault or rape – a fact that has angered Ms Quinn’s heartbroken husband, Ray.

He believes that O’Reilly, who lived not far from his wife’s shop, had gone out with the intention of having sex with her but killed her so she could not identify him.

O’Reilly is already getting increasing day release from Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin for family visits and training. He was out again on Sunday for several hours.

Mr Quinn believes O’Reilly will soon be considered for release by the Parole Board.

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

“For a start, I would like it to be a condition of his release that he will 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. His family live close to some of my wider family and there’s a chance they could bump into each other.”

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

“There is precedence for having a person banned from an area as part of their parole,” said Mr Quinn.

“Previously, the killer Sean Brennan was banned from entering the counties of Westmeath and Offaly on his release from jail following his sentence for killing Bernadette Sherry in 1997.

“I also consider O’Reilly to be dangerous. His crime was a sex crime, which he tried to cover up by murder.

“I’m annoyed that he wasn’t tried for rape also, so I feel it is important that people know what he looks like.

“I’m certainly glad I know what he looks like now.

“Rape was his primary motive, yet when he gets out there will be women who weren’t even born at the time Joyce was killed and who will have no idea of his sex crime.

“The prosecution told me they didn’t know if Joyce was alive or dead when O’Reilly sexually attacked her, so they didn’t proceed with a sex charge.

“I would like to see a move towards a minimum tariff like they have in the UK, where families know at sentencing what the minimum term will be before parole is considered.

“At least that way a family can be at some ease, knowing how long it will be before a future release is even discussed.”


Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News