O’Reilly case gives hope to those awaiting justice

THE conviction of Joe O’Reilly for the brutal murder of his wife has given new hope to the relatives of those whose killers have never been jailed.

As O’Reilly woke up having spent his first night in Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison, campaigners for justice celebrated having another murderer in jail.

The cold-hearted killer was jailed for life on Saturday for bludgeoning Rachel to death in their north Co Dublin home.

After 33 months, a four week trial that gripped the nation and nine hours of deliberations, Rachel’s parents, Rose and Jim Callaly, finally got justice for the mother of two.

Rachel was among the 130 women killed in violent attacks in Ireland over the past decade.

“Nothing will ever bring back Rachel, but at least one more murderer is now off our streets,” said Anne Delcassian, whose sister Irene White was murdered two years’ ago.

“The gardaí did a fantastic job here and I hope this trial acts as a warning for forthcoming cases, and gives hope to many others waiting for justice.”

Ms White, who was separated from her husband, Alan, was stabbed to death while she washed dishes in her kitchen. Her body was discovered in a pool of blood by her mother, Maureen.

Despite two arrests, no one has been charged in connection with Ms White’s death. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

On Good Friday, Ms Delcassian held a vigil outside her sister’s home in memory of all women violently killed across Ireland.

A second was held just weeks ago in Cork to mark the first anniversary of the murder of teenager Sheola Keaney, who was strangled by ex-boyfriend Thomas Kennedy, who has been jailed for life for the killing.

“The hope that this case gives the rest of us who attended those vigils, that we will also get justice, is a wonderful feeling,” said Ms Delcassian.

9 — Calls and texts received by O’Reilly’s phone which exposed his false alibi 18 — Calls and texts between O’Reilly and his lover, Nikki Pelley, on day of Rachel’s murder

18 — The maximum number of minutes O’Reilly spent at murder scene

21 — Days the trial lasted

119 — Separate pieces of CCTV footage examined by gardaí

144 — Witnesses who gave evidence during trial

584 — Minutes taken by the jury to deliver a verdict

600 — Statements taken from potential witnesses

1,020 — Days passed between Rachel’s murder and O’Reilly’s conviction for the crime

5,000 — People interviewed by gardaí as part of the investigation

9,000 — Number of emails downloaded from O’Reilly’s laptop computer and examined by gardaí

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence