O'Reilly seeks Supreme Court permission to challenge appeal refusalFriday 18 March 2016 22.22
Joe O'Reilly, who was convicted of the murder of his wife in 2007, is to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal an unsuccessful attempt to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.
O'Reilly was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife at their home in the Naul, Co Dublin.
Rachel O'Reilly's body was found in the bedroom of her home by her mother on 4 October 2004.
O'Reilly had lost an appeal against his conviction and last year an application to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice was dismissed as an "abuse of process" by the Court of Appeal.
His lawyers returned to the Court of Appeal this morning to seek legal aid for a Supreme Court action.
Barrister Ronan Munro BL, for O'Reilly, applied for legal aid to pursue an application to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal's dismissal of his earlier miscarriage of justice application.
However, Mr Justice George Birmingham, who oversees the procedural management of cases through the court on his own, said three judges would have to convene to deal with the matter.
Mr Munro attempted to advocate against the courts view that the same three judges had to decide on a legal aid application.
However, Mr Justice Birmingham said "it would be different if this was routine, but it isn't".
"It seems you'll have to advance significant reasons" for legal aid for a future appeal, the judge said.
There was not an automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court, as there had been before the Court of Appeal was established, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal last May, Mr Justice Birmingham said it was an "unacceptable strategy" to raise the arguments O'Reilly had raised at this point.
O'Reilly's application was based on events that occurred on the third day of his Central Criminal Court trial when a portion of the book of evidence was found in the jury room, the judge said.
It was clear, from the way in which the issue was approached by the trial judge and counsel at the time, that O'Reilly was fully informed and fully engaged with what was happening then, he said.
Having been so aware and so engaged, to raise the argument now after the trial and after his earlier appeal, was an "unacceptable strategy," Mr Justice Birmingham said.
Accordingly, Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Sean Ryan and Mr Justice John Edwards, dismissed the appeal.