MUM of two Rachel O’Reilly was found brutally beaten to death in what police initially believed was a home invasion gone wrong, in 2004.

However, in a chilling twist of events, police eventually discovered that the man responsible for Rachel’s death was her husband, Joe O’Reilly.

Rachel O’Reilly was murdered in 2004


Rachel O’Reilly was murdered in 2004Credit: TV4

Who was Rachel O’Reilly?

Rachel O’Reilly, previously Callaly, was a mother-of-two from Dublin.

Rachel lived in Naul, Ireland with her two young sons and her husband Joe O’Reilly.

Her mother Rose Callaly described her eldest daughter as ”a live wire and such a good heart” who had ”no badness in her at all”.

She was just 30 years old when her life was tragically cut short.

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What happened to Rachel O’Reilly?

Rachel O’Reilly’s body was discovered inside her own home in Naul, Ireland by her mother Rose, on October 4, 2004.

Prior to her death, the mum of two had dropped both of her children off at a creche and a school.

Her fatal injuries were caused at the hands of her husband Joe O’Reilly, who used a dumbbell to attack his wife.

The 6ft5in brute husband then staged the scene to make it appear like a burglary in an attempt to deter police from discovering the truth.

He even pretended he was at work as he secretly drove across the M50 to commit the horrific crime, as well as leaving frantic messages on Rachel’s answerphone in a bid to cover his tracks.

He also faked concern when Rachel failed to collect their children from school and asked her mother to check on her at the family home, knowing she would discover her daughter’s body lying in a pool of blood.

However, it wasn’t long before detectives became suspicious of the dad-of-two and later traced his phone to reveal he had lied about his whereabouts at the time of the attack.

Alarm bells really rang when Joe began acting out of character and repeatedly tried to get his wife’s family to listen to her answering machine and even re-enacted the murder.

There was also a note that was retrieved from Rachel’s grave which her husband had thrown into the coffin just before it was covered in earth which read: “I’m sorry.”

And when detectives discovered the dad of two was having a secret love affair with a woman called Nikki Pelley, they began to connect the dots.

But it was the analysis from his phone location that was really pivotal to the investigation – Police established that O’Reilly’s phone was “pinging” off the mast near his home around the time of the murder.

With a mountain of evidence against him, Joe was handed a life sentence in 2007.

However, he has never admitted to the killing.

Where is Joe O’Reilly now?

Joe O’Reilly is currently serving life at the tough Midlands Prison in Portlaoise after being transferred in 2022.

For the first 15 years of his sentence, he resided at Dublin’s Wheatfield Prison.

Joe O'Reilly was found guilty of murder


Joe O’Reilly was found guilty of murderCredit: Courtpix

Since his imprisonment, O’Reilly has made a number of attempts to appeal his conviction – all of which have been refused.

He has also made attempts to be moved into an open prison.

Earlier this year Rachel’s mother Rose said if O’Reilly was granted his wish to move to an open prison “it would finish me.”

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