RTE viewers react to new documentary on the murder of Dublin mother Rachel Callaly
1st December 2021
Irish viewers shared their shock last night after watching RTE’s new documentary The Case I Can’t Forget, which told the story of Rachel Callaly, who was murdered by her husband 17 years ago. © Provided by Extra.ie
The mother of two was beaten to death by her husband Joe O’Reilly in October 2004 at their home in Lambay View, in the Naul in north Co Dublin.
O’Reilly staged the murder as a burglary gone wrong and infamously appeared on The Late Late Show with Rachel’s mother Rose Callaly to appeal for witnesses.© Provided by Extra.ie Rachel Callaly was murdered by her husband in 2004. Pic: Collect
The documentary saw retired detective Pat Marry reflect on the horrific case that stunned the nation almost twenty years ago.
Recalling the discovery of Rachel’s body he said: ‘It’s a sight I will never forget, My God, she was pulverised. Her hair was matted in blood, over her right ear there was, you could see down to her skull, it was about five inches long.
‘You could see there was severe force used to inflict that, so the poor woman had no chance whatsoever, absolutely none. It was savage, cold, just unbelievable.’© Provided by Extra.ie Joe O’Reilly was a handed a life sentence for the murder of his wife. Photo: RTE.
O’Reilly called Rachel’s mother Rose following the murder to tell her that her daughter didn’t pick up their son from the creche. This led to Rose going to their house and discovering Rachel’s body in the bedroom.
Rose suspected O’Reilly was the killer as they sat beside each other on The Late Late Show.
She explained: ‘At that stage, I couldn’t bear to be in his company because I knew, you know, that he had murdered Rachel.© Provided by Extra.ie Mrs Callaly is the mother of Rachel Callaly who was murdered in October, 2004, by her husband Joe O’Reilly.
‘You know to have to sit beside [him], it was awful now. I was just recoiling and when he would say something I would feel like jumping up and running off.
‘To be honest with you, that night my whole thing was getting through it and not to react to him at all. It was an ordeal I can tell you.’
Irish viewers took to Twitter to discuss the events of the documentary.
Mental health activist Niamh Fitzpatrick said: ‘What a poignant documentary #TheCaseICantForget. Immense courage & dignity from Rachel Callally’s parents Rose & Jim in the face of unimaginable pain. What beautiful people they are. May Rachel rest in peace & may her family live in peace.’
Another viewer recalled the The Late Late Show incident: ‘I remember The Late Late Show that night. Rose must have been nearly sick. And he told her the guards wanted them to appear.
While one viewer recounted seeing O’Reilly in court: ‘Always remember that case so well Was in court as a observer the day before Joe was sentenced Remember Joe in lobby with his brother just laughing away and not a care in the world Such a well detailed programme Well done to everybody involved.’
A jury found Joe O’Reilly guilty of his wife’s murder in July 2007 and handed him a life sentence.
The Case I Can’t Forget is available to watch now on the RTE Player.