Wednesday 24 January 2018

Rose Callaly: 'I'm so relieved Joe O'Reilly's bid to appeal his conviction has failed'

Rose Callaly holds a picture of Rachel
Rose Callaly holds a picture of Rachel

The mother of murdered Rachel O’Reilly has said her family is relieved that her daughter’s killer failed in a bid to appeal his conviction today.

Rose Callaly’s daughter Rachel (30) was murdered by her husband Joe O'Reilly in October 2004, and he received a life sentence for the killing in 2007.

His bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal today prior to full hearing.

Rose told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny today that she knew two days after her daughter’s funeral that O’Reilly was the murderer - and she is “thrilled” that justice has been reached.

“We’re very relieved with this morning’s verdict and we really are thrilled.”

“It’s very stressful from the time you hear [about the appeal] until it actually happens and then you’re going to court cases and waiting to hear the results.”

“If Joe O’Reilly stops telling lies, he will set himself free... He just continues to lie about it. Thank God for technology; that’s really what got him. I think he thought he had comitted the perfect murder.”

“He gave up his freedom the day he did what he did, and he doesn’t deserve to have freedom.”

On October 4, 2004, Rose suffered the unthinkable tragedy of finding her daughters badly beaten body in the bedroom of the home she shared with husband Joe and their two. Rose still suffers nightmares and flashbacks about the horrific scene she came across.

“That scene would come before my eyes and I just had nightmares for I couldn’t tell you how long,” Rose told Pat Kenny.

“That would be my pun for him, if he was confronted by what he did and could feel it, but obviously he never did.”

“It’s extraordinary when you look back. There’s just no conscience... just what I found and what he knew he had left for me to find that day, it’s just unbelieveable that he was so normal looking.”

“When he was arrested first, I went down to where he was being held to the police station, and I put it to him there... but it was like looking into a barren landscape,” she said.

The grieving mother said she firmly believes that the taking of a life should be punished with life imprisonment.

“With all that life lets you see, I really believe now that life should be life.”

“Thank God so far we’ve got justice and hopefully it’ll keep like that.”

Rose said she is grateful for technology because it was only when mobile phone records were produced that gardai had a way of securing the evidence needed for a conviction.

“Had it been a year before, they mightn’t have known [how to retrieve evidence]... But by that stage it had advanced whereby they could.”

“I hadn’t a shadow of a doubt in my mind. It was so hard to sit beside him [on the Late Late Show after Rachel died] and look at him and listen to him.”

“I just felt this morn, it’s such a beautiful morning and I pictured Rachel out living her life as she would have. She was full of life and would have been a great asset to life ... That’s the horrible thing about it. Someone can just decide to take a life like that.”

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