Judge warns Joe O’Reilly appeal cannot be based on ‘mere assertion’

Pressure has been put on convicted killer Joe O’Reilly to show what evidence he has to back up his claim that his case should be declared a miscarriage of justice.

The 40-year-old is serving life for killing his wife Rachel at their home in Naul, Co. Dublin in October 2004.

He lost an appeal against his conviction in 2009 but maintains his innocence.

This morning he was brought before the Court of Criminal Appeal from Portlaoise prison to address Mr. Justice Adrian Hardiman’s concerns that his miscarriage of justice bid has been left hanging.

Dressed in a dark suit and tie, the 40-year-old confirmed that last week he met with solicitor Frank Buttimer whose law firm will represent him and that he will at some stage be seeking bail, which State lawyers have indicated they will vigorously oppose.

In order to proceed with his miscarriage of justice application, Joe O’Reilly needs to establish that new or newly discovered facts have come to light.

‘Case must proceed rapidly’

It has emerged one ground he intends to rely on relates to the finding of the book of evidence in the jury room at his trial in 2007.

However based on the papers he has seen, Mr. Justice Hardiman has said he can not form any view as to why this matters or whether there was material in the book not properly before the jury.

He told Mr. O’Reilly’s newly-acquired legal team that the case must proceed rapidly and be based on evidence not mere assertion.

Barrister Ronan Munro, BL, requested time to receive instructions but said he was keen to expedite the matter.

The case has been put back until March 7th when the court will be updated on how it will proceed.


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