O'Reilly seeks legal aid in bid to have conviction overturned


Joe O’Reilly, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife, Rachel, has applied for legal aid in a bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice. The Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday put the matter back to next month’s case management list. The State is seeking submissions on whether the legal aid scheme extends to such applications.

In July 2007 the 38-year-old was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the murder of his wife at their home in the Naul, Co Dublin.

O’Reilly lost an appeal against that conviction in 2009. In August of this year he failed in an attempt to have his conviction quashed, arguing that his detention in the Midlands Prison was unlawful.

State solicitor Padraic Taylor told the court O’Reilly had lodged an application under section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993. The Act states that a person who remains convicted after appeal may apply to the court to have their conviction quashed based on alleged new or newly discovered facts that show a miscarriage of justice occurred.