Sister of Rachel O’Reilly loses cancer battle

THE sister of murder victim Rachel O’Reilly died yesterday after a two-year battle with cancer.

Ann Callaly, 31, passed away early yesterday morning in Dublin.

Mother-of-two Rachel was killed by her husband, Joe O’Reilly, in her home in north Co Dublin in October 2004.

After a murder trial that became the source of much media and public attention, Joe O’Reilly was convicted of his wife’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in late 2007.

Ms Callaly also came to national prominence during this period, attending every day of the murder trial and speaking emotionally about the loss her family had endured.

Shortly after O’Reilly’s conviction, is was revealed the Ms Callaly was undergoing treatment for a tumour behind her eye.

In her book, Remembering Rachel: The story of Rachel O’Reilly’s Life and Brutal Death, Rose Callaly, Rachel and Ann’s mother, wrote of the essential support that her daughter had provided to the family during the ordeal.

Ms Callaly’s last public appearance was in November 2009 when she sat alongside her father in the audience of the Late, Late Show during an interview with her mother.

At the time she talked about how her health had suffered as a result of the stress of her sister’s murder. Earlier this year in a show of support for their sister, Anthony and Paul Callaly had their heads shaved to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

At that time Ms Callaly said she was very proud of her brothers.

“I’m so blessed with such a supportive family and great friends,” she added.

A funeral Mass will be held for Ms Callaly at the Holy Child Church in Whitehall, Dublin, on Monday.


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