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Joe O’Reilly locked up 23 hours a day and set for bin man job after prison transfer

Murderer O’Reilly was moved to the Midlands Prison last Tuesday after a series of clashes with other inmates

Joe O’Reilly is 15 years into his sentence for murdering his wife

Joe O’Reilly is on a committal landing since he arrived at the Midlands Prison

Rachel Callaly

Nikki Pelley has visited O’Reilly in prison

Rachel’s mum Rose and O’Reilly on the Late Late Show after her murder

Eamon DillonSunday World

Wife-killer Joe O’Reilly has been locked up 23 hours a day since his transfer to the Midlands Prison and is set to get a job as a bin man in the jail.

The former advertising salesman was moved out of Wheatfield Prison last Tuesday after a series of verbal clashes with other inmates.

Like all new arrivals, he was put in a committal landing until a longer-term cell is found for him in another part of the prison.

It is usually a short-term measure where inmates are assessed before being placed among other prisoners.

Joe O’Reilly is on a committal landing since he arrived at the Midlands Prison

However, it means that as he waits for space to be found, his exercise is restricted to just one hour a day with the rest of his time being spent in his cell.

It is likely he will be given a job in the waste management section once he is assigned a landing, according to Sunday World sources.

There are a limited number of options where O’Reilly can be detained, which has delayed him being settled in the prison.

“It’s not like he can go anywhere because of his high profile and he won’t be going in with the sex offenders,” it was added.

Rachel Callaly

The move is seen as giving O’Reilly a ‘time-out’ from Wheatfield after tension built up between him and other inmates there.

The 6ft 5ins Jehovah’s Witness has previously been described to theSunday World as having an arrogant streak.

Now into his 15th year behind bars imposed for the murder of his wife Rachel Callaly, it is not the first time O’Reilly has been moved about the prison system.

In March 2018, he wasn’t happy when he was transferred out of Arbour Hill Prison to make room for sex offenders.

He had enjoyed working as a baker in the kitchen at the high-security facility where many long-serving rapists and killers are detained.

In Wheatfield he was given a job working as a gardener in the prison grounds, planting flowers and grass- cutting.

He would have been enjoying much more freedom of movement than he has experienced in the last week.

During his early days of his life sentence, O’Reilly became a Jehovah’s Witness and requested an ‘elder from the church the same way as chaplains visit the prisons.

Sources say he is in regular contact with his church elders and reads the bible every day.

O’Reilly is now known as a “publisher”– a member who spreads the word of the church, among some 6,000 devotees in Ireland.

He also became involved in the Samaritans listener programme and completed several courses behind bars.

Nikki Pelley has visited O’Reilly in prison

O’Reilly, who turned 50 this year, had been having an affair with Nikki Pelley at the time of Rachel’s murder and she has continued to visit him in prison.

Despite their on-off relationship she visited him in Wheatfield last April and in 2017 she went to Arbour Hill on his tenth anniversary behind bars. He had been transferred there from the Midlands Prison in 2013.

During his time behind bars O’Reilly has exhausted every avenue of appeal against the jury’s guilty verdict in 2007 with the Supreme Court turning down permission for another appeal in 2016.

He had previously claimed he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice, but the Court of Appeal threw out the case.

He has also made numerous applications for temporary release and escorted visits to see family members, which so far have been turned down.

The Sunday World previously reported how O’Reilly had submitted an application for temporary release last Christmas, but was turned down.

If approved, it would have seen him enjoying up to three days of freedom which he said he hoped to spend in the company of his two sons.

Rachel’s mum Rose and O’Reilly on the Late Late Show after her murder

Rachel’s dad Jim Callaly told the Sunday World last December he believes the Irish Prison Service made the right decision in denying O’Reilly’s efforts to get out.

“He never admitted to killing Rachel so there has been no remorse,” he said.

“And I think that is one of the criteria that has to be considered in an application like this.

“I don’t think he should ever be let out of prison. He’s a dangerous psychopath.

“He gets his kicks out of seeing people suffering.”


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