Graham Dwyer trial: Knife, mask and cuffs found in reservoir

Woman found bones of Elaine O’Hara while searching for dog on Killakee Mountain


Sex toys, bondage cuffs, a knife, a leather mask, a rope, gag and chains were among items taken from the Vartry Reservoir by gardaí investigating the death of Elaine O’Hara.

Gardaí also gave evidence at the Central Criminal Court of finding items at Ms O’Hara’s apartment in Belarmine, Stepaside, Dublin.

These included “heavy metal chains”, bondage cuffs, a gas mask, a PVC body suit, a rope and a printout of a page from a website on the “Gorean Lifestyle”.

Graham Dwyer (42), a south Dublin architect from Kerrymount Close in Foxrock, is charged with murdering Dublin childcare worker Ms O’Hara (36) in Co Dublin on August 22nd, 2012. He has pleaded not guilty.

Garda James Codd, the first exhibits officer in the case, told the court on September 17th, 2013, he went to Vartry Reservoir and took possession of a number of items from two gardaí there.

These included bondage cuffs, chains, a rope, a gag, clothing, a knife, an inhaler, a leather mask, a gag and chains and a set of keys.

He was also given a Nokia phone, cuffs, a white sex toy, a black sex toy, tape, a leather collar, some wet clothing, a bag with the barrel of a gun in it and a large camera lens.

He also said he took part in a search of Ms O’Hara’s apartment in Belarmine on August 28th, 2012, and recovered items including a hairbrush, chains, padlocks, pillow cases, a duvet cover, a fitted bed sheet, a disposable razor, a toothbrush head, a PVC dress, an empty tube of lubricant, prescription medication, rope and a gas mask.

These items were located in the bedroom, bathroom and living room.

Garda Codd described the apartment as “clean”. He said when they stripped the bed they found “bloodstains” on the mattress.

‘Gorean Lifestyle’

He also said a printout of a page from a website called “Gorean Lifestyle” was found in the living room on a shelf at a desk.

The contents of page were read by Sinead McGrath BL, for the prosecution. They outlined a lifestyle based on books written in the 1960s and 1970s by John Norman called The Chronicles of Gor, in which women are slaves.

Topics included why Goreans believed women only exist to please men, and why it is men’s natural desire to dominate women and women’s natural desire to serve men and be slaves.

Feminist condemnation

Once a woman became a slave, she loses all human rights and if a woman was not beautiful, she could be killed, the page said. It added the Gor books had been condemned by feminists and that women chose Gor because they wished to be submissive, or they had a history of sexual abuse and manipulation.

Under cross-examination, Remy Farrell SC described the books as “sci-fi novels” about “life on planet Gor”.

“I take it you’re not an expert on Gorean lifestyle?”

“I’m not,” Garda Codd responded.

Also giving evidence on Tuesday, Magali Vergnet outlined how she discovered the remains of Ms O’Hara in a wooded area on Killakee Mountain.

Originally from France but living in Ireland for 13 years, Ms Vergnet, a professional dog trainer and walker, said she would walk in the area five days a week.

She said the land, owned by farmer Frank Doyle, is gated, and she had a key to gain vehicular access. Inside there was an area to park. She said she would let the dogs run loose and they would run into the woods.

Her dog Millie, a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a King Charles, had found bones in the past, including those of a deer. She said she placed the bones on top of a pile of stone blocks, out of the dog’s reach.

On August 23rd, 2013, the dog found another bone. It was about six inches long and Ms Vergnet again said she placed it on top of the blocks.

On September 13th, Ms Vergnet said she had finished walking the dogs and was waiting to load them back into the car when she noticed Millie was missing.

“I could hear her tag,” Ms Vergnet said, as well as a “scratching noise”.

She went into the wood behind the blocks to search for the dog. Conditions were “quite muddy” she said. She followed a track some distance and saw bones. There was also a “white greasy material” on the grass.

She could still hear the dog and moved again to search for it, manoeuvring through branches and trees to do this. Then she saw clothing, a blue tracksuit bottom with a shoe.

When she found the dog, it had two big bones. She was concerned the bones might be human remains and put the dogs in the car. She contacted the landowner Mr Doyle, and he returned to the area with her, along with another friend.

Jaw bone

When they searched they found a mandible - lower jaw bone - and realised they were human remains. The group was not initially able to get a phone signal, but went back to Mr Doyle’s home and contacted gardaí from there.

Ms Vergnet also said she found a blade sticking in the ground at the area where she parked her car.

Also giving evidence, Mr Doyle told the court there were three people, apart from himself, who had keys to the gate to his land at Killakee, including Ms Vergnet.

Asked if it was ever left open, he said “not to my knowledge”. He said walkers could come onto the land, and some came over the top of the mountain.

He also believed some people parked near his gate.

“Courting couples use it, I suspect, as well ... I do see condoms and McDonald’s bags,” he said.

He also said during the hunting season of September 2011 to January 2012, he discovered a big plastic sheet, some string hanging from trees, Vaseline, a stick with nails in it and bits of plastic bag. He brought gardaí to the site after Ms O’Hara’s remains were discovered.

The trial continues.