A CAMPAIGN is underway to have the man who murdered Milltown woman Joyce Quinn banned from returning to Kildare.
Murderer Kenneth O’Reilly is due for release shortly from Arbour Hill prison after spending more than 20 years in jail for the murder of the mother of three. Joyce’s husband Ray Quinn is pleading with the parole board to include the ban as part of his release conditions as the family still reside in the small tight knit community of Milltown where O’Reilly is from. He is seeking the public’s support in his campaign.
“I am seeking this condition as my three children, their spouses and nine grandchildren all live in Kildare. My daughters, in particular, are fearful of encountering O’Reilly. Lisa, my youngest daughter, is married to a near neighbour of O’Reilly in the village of Milltown where O’Reilly’s family still reside.
“She visits her in-laws with her three children quite often. Neither O’Reilly nor his family have ever expressed any remorse for what happened, indeed they did their utmost to mislead and thwart the Gardai during the investigation into Joyce’s death up to and including the murder trial,” said Mr Quinn in a social media post.
Mrs Quinn, who owned and ran the local shop murdered by O’Reilly in Milltown and her body was dumped at The Curragh back in 1996.
The campaign has been started in an effort to ensure O’Reilly stays away from Kildare as Joyce’s family are fearful of encountering her murderer. O’Reilly’s family reside less than a mile away from the Quinn family home. Mr Quinn noted that the condition is not a novel idea and that there is precedence for it.
He did an interview on Sunday morning with Newstalk and urged as many people as possible to contact the station in support of the campaign.
O’Reilly is now forty five years old and prior to Joyce’s murder he had worked in Kildare Chilling Company as an animal carcass boner.
“He gave up work to draw the dole. Unknown to us he was fantasizing about and stalking Joyce who owned the village shop where he and his family were customers. On the evening of the murder he opened the school gates across from the shop so he could hide her car there after the crime.
“When his loitering there was queried by the caretaker, he stated that he was searching for money he lost,” he added.
After Joyce closed the shop Mr O’Reilly sought a lift to Kildare.
“On the Curragh Plains he produced a knife, freshly sharpened, forced her to stop the car, stabbed her in the neck , then stabbed her in the heart, to the extent that the knife went through it,” said Mr Quinn.
He then dragged Joyce from the car and raped her while she was dead or dying.
“He drove back to Milltown, hid her car in the schoolyard and within minutes of the murder/rape calmly called to the school caretaker’s house to state that he had found his “lost” money.”
Mr O’Reilly then went home, cleaned up and went to the local pub for drinks. His girlfriend joined him and then both went by taxi to Newbridge where they had a meal before returning to his girlfriend’s house for the night.
“All of this was paid for by the money stolen from Joyce,” said Mr Quinn.
“The purpose of this crime was rape, murder was almost incidental to cover up the rape. O’Reilly was not charged with a sex crime. It was flippantly explained to me just before the trial ,”we don’t know if your wife was dead or alive at the time, it could be rape or necrophilia, so we are not proceeding with that.
“Whether this guy who calmly premeditated a rape and murder poses a threat to the public if released is matter for the parole board. I merely want him kept out of County Kildare. I’m asking for your assistance on what is probably our last “throw of the dice” to achieve this.”
He said he has written to the Department of Justice to have his voice heard regarding the conditions. He has received a reply acknowledging the letter and that they will consider his views.
When asked how he’d feel if Mr O’Reilly returned to Kildare Mr Quinn said he’d be appalled.
“Joyce’s poor mother comes down; she’s very, very old now. We are the victims here. Why should we have to take the chance of bumping into this man who has caused us such misery?
“He got a life sentence. We don’t have the death penalty here, thank god, but when people get a life sentence there should be conditions attached to the parole and one of the conditions should be that he’s done this, should he be allowed to come back to Milltown and play happy families? Our family has been destroyed.”
He added also that Mr O’Reilly might be safer in a big city where he could fade into anonymity.
“Milltown is a tiny community. If he fades into anonymity in a big city like Cork, Limerick or Dublin, he’s anonymous. Here he’s not,” he said.
“Everyone knows what he did. If that guy looks sideways at any female in the area, her brothers, her friends, her father, her uncle, are they going to give him the befit of the doubt? I think not.”
During the radio interview Mr Quinn said the family are very close.
“One of the good sides of this unfortunate thing that happened to us is that it brought us very, very close as a family and we are very supportive of each other,” he said.
“So for that reason we’ll stick around.”
He added that very recently his son and his wife a baby and they called the little girl Joyce.
“She’ll probably be my last grandchild. I was chuffed beyond belief when my son and his wife called her Joyce,”he said.
O’Reilly pleaded guilty to murder, but because an inability to scientifically categorise the sexual assault that Mrs Quinn suffered, he was not given any sexual charges and therefore will not be placed on a sex offenders’ register upon his release.