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Family win battle over headstone for Rachel

MURDERED Rachel Callaly will finally get a proper headstone with her maiden name, family members have confirmed.

More than five years after she was bludgeoned to death by her husband Joe O'Reilly, the gravestone can be erected.

The news comes after a long battle between her parents Rose and Jim and O'Reilly who is serving life in prison for killing her

O'Reilly wanted Rachel's headstone to carry his name but her devastated family would only accept her maiden name.

It has now emerged that Fingal County Council has sided with the family over the name on the gravestone.

"There is nothing [O'Reilly] can do about it now," said Rachel's father.

"There is a technicality that means we haven't already put one up, but I expect that to be resolved very soon."

In the meantime, they have erected a simple wooden cross that reads: "Rachel Callaly, Murdered 4th Oct 2004".

Pretty Rachel was 30 years old when O'Reilly killed her at their home in the Naul, north Co Dublin. At the time of her death he was having an affair with Nikki Pelley and proceeded to create a web of lies in an attempt to avoid prosecution.

However, he was convicted in July 2007 and given a mandatory life sentence.

In the days after his murder, O'Reilly made a series of media appeals for information about Rachel's killer and even appeared on The Late Late Show alongside Rose Callaly.

He has always maintained his innocence and had insisted that Rachel's gravestone would bear his surname, sparking a second battle with her family.

hnews@herald.ie


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