Joe O’Reilly

Joe O’Reilly was convicted of murdering his wife, Rachel, and was sent to jail for life.

Now, I think he did it, and every person I talk to thinks he did it. What’s more, the jury thought he did it, and you have to agree, it would be hard to find stronger authority than that, yes? Well, no actually. We live in the age of CSI, when everyone, including jury members, think they’re expert, and I have a great problem with the whole thing.

The criminal justice system in this country requires that the prosecution prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. This is the criminal standard of proof, as opposed to the civil standard, which relies on the balance of probabilities. Without doubt, on the balance of probabilities Joe O’Reilly is a murderer, but that’s not good enough, and people seem to be overlooking this simple fact. When it comes to beyond reasonable doubt, we have a problem. This standard exists, not to protect murderers, but to defend you and me against incompetent or corrupt policemen, and God knows we have enough of them, as one glance at the Morris tribunal reports will show you, pretty damn quick.

Was there any forensic evidence to connect Joe O’Reilly with the crime? No.

This is surprising, given that he was convicted of bludgeoning somebody to death, leaving blood everywhere, on the walls, the floor and the ceiling. Yet there wasn’t a single molecule of blood on his person or in his car.

Was it proved that he was in or near the house at the time of the murder? No.

It was asserted by telecoms technicians who gave evidence that his phone wasn’t where he said it was. Did anyone question the evidence of the technicians? No. Why? Because we all watch CSI, including the jurors and the judge, and we all know that technicians are never wrong.

We’re all in thrall to technology and to geeks, who are the new infallible caste, now that the priests have been shown to be unreliable perverts and the Pope was in the Hitler Youth. Geeks, on the other hand, are outside such questioning because they live for Coca-Cola and pizza and have no hand in moral or ethical issues. The word of a telecom technician is never questioned because technology can never make a mistake, which is why you need never check your credit card statement, your electricity bill or your bank statement. There can’t be an error. Isn’t that right?

Which is why, though Joe O’Reilly is probably a murdering fucker, it wasn’t proven, and he should walk, murdering fucker though he probably is. Otherwise, when a technician gives evidence in a case brought against you by a crooked cop, you might as well just slip on those cuffs right now.


More on this

kick it on

17 replies on “Joe O’Reilly”

I concur. Though he clearly was probably a murdering fucker, I’m not impressed by the concept of guilty as decided by the Evening Herald becoming the legal standard in this country.

Correct me if I’m wrong, Bock, but wasn’t there some cross examination of the phone guy? Not much, admittedly. He agreed that if one mast was maxed out then the phone would pair with another, even if it were further away.

But in line with what you said, this was glossed over.

Are there not precedents for finding people guilty without the presence of any forensic evidence?

How do we know that the jury didn’t decide to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt? Short of us following the entire transcript and then knowing the full deliberations of the jury, is it possible to say to what standard they decided on?

And if the case presented by the prosecution did not include – assuming it was accepted by the jury – at its maximum, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, would not the judge have instructed the jury that they could not therefore find him guilty?

I’ll declare that I only know the bones of what has been reported and so do not have the opinion that he is probably guilty (I don’t have an opinion either way) but acknowledge that everybody I’ve read does. I also tend to trust the jury in most cases as the people who have truly followed the case as the system intended them to rather than the rest of us who read our Sunday papers and find spouses guilty over rashers and sausages.

I would liked to have read the full text of the letter in the coffin though.

I must agree with you Bock. I think this is a very unsound verdict and I doubt if will survive an appeal. There are a number of things that worry me about it. If the calculated position of a mobile phone can be used as evidence for the prosecution can it not be used as evidence for the defence. For example, a Dublin scumbag drives to Limerick and robs a post office, on arrest he proves that his mobile phone was in Dublin on the day in question, he had the phone with him all day therefore he too was in Dublin. I also have problems with motives for murder put forward by the prosecution. Neither having an affair nor expressing affection for the person you’re having the affair with are motives for murder. When a marriage is falling apart both parties are liable to say outrageous things about each other and I don’t think they should be taken as cast iron evidence of a wish to murder their partner. Having said all that I’m 90% certain he did it, but there’s always that 10% !

Mmmm. I see what you mean, Bock, and you’re right. I kinda trust the jury decision though and I hope it stands up to appeal. A few things about his conduct would have made me vote guilty if I were on the jury. I think the affair WAS a motive for murder. He wanted rid of his wife, but didn’t fancy paying through the nose for the pleasure? So much easier to kill her, especially when he had dehumanised the mother of his children as a c***. His porkies made me distrust him also (like I distrust Bertie). The bristling dignity of Rachel’s family made me think that they thought he was guilty too, and usually the people closest to the scene have the scoop. I only saw him for a minute on the Late Late but I thought he was a cold fish not a murderer though necessarily. When I heard that he spent that night with his girlfriend though…. that’s really cold. What kind of a person would do that? What kind of a person would talk / write about his wife the way he did? Someone capable of killing their wife? All in all, and I haven’t heard the evidence they did, I would be a yes on that jury.

I was reading through your post about how the Irish Criminal Justice system wor… WAIT A SECOND!! WE HAVE A CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM? IN IRELAND??? HOLY SHIT! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN??

Mr Skinner: that’s the problem, isn’t it? The fact that the idiot elements of the Press act on leaks from a bad police force.

Mr Sneeze: He was asked a few questions, but nobody challenged the reliability of their systems.

Eolaí: There are precedents, but you have to remember taht this case was characterised by wholsesale smearing by the police long before the trial started. No juror could have been unaffected by the pre-trial puiblicity and innuendo put out by the cops. That’s one of the reasons I think the result is unfsafe.

Wrinkly Joe: True. He was convicted not only of murder, but also of having an affair and saying bad things about his wife.

Mairéad: Many people talk about their spouses that way, however objectionable it might appear. It isn’t grounds to believe anybody committed murder. I keep returning to the point that guilt has to be proven, not by weight of facts but by a chain of logic. It isn’t enough to say he’s a bollocks.

Cap’n: Oops! Silly me!

“Was there any forensic evidence to connect Joe O’Reilly with the crime? … Yet there wasn’t a single molecule of blood on his person or in his car.”

Actually, there was tonnes of his DNA on the victim and he was covered in her blood when the police arrived. But they couldn’t use that as evidence because he said he’d moved the body when he’d arrived and had tried to revive her. He’d also disturbed the murder scene by moving objects around the house.

Also, because it was his house, the fact that his DNA was everywhere wouldn’t prove anything.

They also found a drop of blood on one shoe and proved that the blood hit the shoe while air born (i.e., it hit his shoe as he was beating her) but that was ruled inadmissible for some legal reason and the jury never heard it.

(by the way – I hate CSI. Its a load of Bollox.

Seabhcan : Nice to see you again. I know he contaminated the scene, but he didn’t manage to transfer any blood at all to his car. I’m not arguing that he’s innocent. I’m saying that in my opinion the prosecution failed to prove it rigorously.

Now hold on a minute!

Lets looks at this again for a moment shall we.

1. Phone evidence – In relation to the defence using this eveytime a “scumbag” wants a defence to say that he was using it in Dublin while in Limerick. It would have to proven he had it in his possesion. Joe O’Reilly made phone calls on the bloody thing while in the car going to and from the murder scene!!
O’Reilly had the cahnce to say he didn’thave the phone with him but he couldn’t could he why? because he made phone calls on it.

Yes the phone eveidece does not put him in the house but come on!!!! lets not be stupid here where the hell was he when the phone was tracked less than half a mile from the house??? Picking Flowers??????
The phonce has him not where he says he was if he was doing anything else do you not think they would have used it.

Go to have been the worse defence ever.

2. DNA none found in his car? why Because he washed it all off in the shower after the killing and obviously changed his clothes. he then comtaminated the scene to cover up the possibility of any bllod being found on him – Very clever in fact.

3. The Press – it was O’Reilly himself that courted the press early on in the investigation and all of a sudden becasue it went against him the Defence wanted the case thrown out????

Xenophon: Firstly, I didn’t raise the “scumbag phone” argument, so let’s drop that one, shall we?

Secondly, while all that you say might be true, it’s no more than grounds for gross suspicion. In this country, we don’t convict people on the basis of gross suspicion; we have to prove the case rigorously, and I personally don’t believe the prosecution achieved that standard of rigour.

Bock: Well I supose that is a matter of opinion.
In your opinion there was not enough evidence. In my opinion there was.

I think that if you add all the evidence (that was allowed) together the jury had no option but to convict him.

Yes all the evidece was circumstantial but if I’m not mistaken a person was changed and convicted of murder in this county without a body ever been found.

The evidence gave motive and put him with 1/2 a mile of the scene at the time of the murder. When he says that he was 13 miles away on the other side of the city.

The fact that there was not one piece of evidence to back up his story as to where he was that morning is more damning than anything else.

The whole point of being a citizen in a democracy is this: you don’t have to back up your story.

It doesn’t matter what anyone accuses me of, or you. Neither of us has to back up his story. Our accuser must prove his case.

Do you not get that?

this is the first time i saw this page, found it while research a project on the o reilly murder and trial.

Bock, yes fine you are entitled to your opinion but the fact is that Joe is either completely innocent of his wifes murder and too much of an idiot to give an alibi that hasnt got as many holes as swiss cheese, or hes as guilty as sin.

you think someone should only be convicted if it can fully verified that they done it without ANY doubt at all. do you not get how unreasonable that is, yes, we live in a democracy but if u were tried for a murder u didnt commit do u not think youd start tellin the complete truth. of course the jury will have some doubt their decision could ruin an innocent mans life or it could let a guilty man walk, and i no i wouldnt take that decision lightly regardless of public opinion.

whatever evidence of the murder was either contaminated (by him trying to revive her) or removed (him having the shower) or explained by the fact they were married and lived together.

you ask bout the fact that there was not one molecule of blood in the car well as Xenophon said he had a shower and even if there had been a molecule of blood in the car, as there probably was, but 1 its such a small amount that annalysis wouldnt be able to be done on it and 2 once again they were married and lived together, so im sure she had been in his car at some stage, do u not think he would have thought of a plausable excuse just incase?

and finally no matter how bad his and rachels relationship was do u really think all their friends, neighbours and finally her family would try would make up little stories about how he said “everyones a suspect your a suspect and im a suspect” or when talking about the murder smiling and saying “well, i know where i was” just to see him in prison, im sure at least one of them would have had a conscience or that they made up that he started reenacting the murder saying what “would” have happened when, because no matter how good forensic science is it cant tell the order of when injuries happened, the scientist themselves can only give their opinion.

and yes i no u have said u do believe dat hes guilty but that the evidence wasnt there to justify a guilty verdict. as plenty of people have said CSI etc have all become more popular and yes they are aload of shite but its because of CSI that murderers are starting to tink of the little things that might just fail to prove they did it so if the system was how u want it to be its these murderers that would walk amoung us. and maybe you wud be happier with that kinda system but i for 1 would not.

You seem to be missing the point.

Beyond reasonable doubt: that’s the test that protects you and me from being falsely imprisoned.

I think Joe O Reilly is guilty, but I don’t think the State proved it.

(By the way, could you please not write comments in text speak next time? I have a policy of deleting them but I’ll leave yours just this once since you put so much effort into it. If you’re doing research, I imagine you’re a student who should be able to write in English.)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.