A Supreme Court judge has criticised newspaper reports of an application by convicted murderer Joe O'Reilly for free legal aid.

O'Reilly was granted free legal aid yesterday in the Court of Criminal Appeal to allow him take a miscarriage of justice case.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said reports in today's newspapers of the "devastation" and "torment" of the victim's family implied that these comments were made at yesterday's court hearing.

"The reportage of third party comments prior to the court decision on legal aid might suggest these opinions were put before the court, they were not", he said.

Mr Justice Hardiman added that yesterday's decision to grant legal aid had been made in the context of the State having no objection to the application.

O'Reilly was not present in court either yesterday or today.

He is serving life for killing his 30-year-old wife Rachel at their home in Naul, Co Dublin in October 2004.

O'Reilly lost an appeal against his conviction in 2009.