Rachel O’Reilly: what happened to mum of two, who killed her - and when is The Lie: Murder in Suburbia on TV?

O’Reilly, previously Callaly, was bludgeoned to death in her home in Naul, Ireland in 2004

Channel 5 is to air an in-depth documentary about the murder of Irish mother-of-two Rachel O’Reilly, over 17 years after her death.

‘The Lie: Murder in Suburbia’ airs across two night and includes interviews with her parents, Rose and Jim, who said taking part was “heavy going” and “horrific to think of how her life was taken from her.”

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Rachel’s death was originally framed as a burglary and her body was found by her own mother, when she failed to collect her children from primary school and creche.

So, what actually happened to her - and has anyone been convicted of her murder? This is what you need to know.

What happened to Rachel O’Reilly?

Rachel O’Reilly was a 30 year old mother and wife when she was murdered in her home in Naul, Ireland.

On 4 October 2004, she had taken her two young sons to school and creche before returning home.

Her husband, Joe O’Reilly, left for work that morning before returning home and bludgeoning her to death with a kettlebell.

Joe had gone to work in a bid to cover his tracks, before taking her by surprise at their home and battering her to death before returning to his workplace.

He then played dumb when she failed to turn up at her son’s school to collect him, and phoned her own mother, Rose Callaly, to visit the family home and see if she was okay.

In reality, the murderer knew he was setting up his mother-in-law to find her daughter lying in a pool of blood.

Joe, 6ft5, had been involved in a nine-month affair with advertising executive Nikki Pelley, 42, before he killed his wife.

Joe and Rachel shared two young sons (Picture: handout)

Alarm bells began ringing when detectives discovered he was not where he said he was at the time of the murder, after tracking his phone records.

The Callaly family then grew more suspicious when he reenacted her murder to them.

In 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife. He continues to deny the allegations.

Where is Joe O’Reilly now?

Joe O’Reilly is now serving his sentence in  medium security prison Wheatfield in Clondalkin, Dublin.

He recently appealed for release across the Christmas period, but was denied leave by jail bosses.

Earlier this year, he was caught with a USB stick which contained thousands of music and movie downloads, something which he felt he should be entitled to.

The Irish Mirror spoke to Rachel’s parents earlier this year about his application for release, Rose said: “. He can’t moan about anything that’s happening to him.

“He’s getting off very lightly really. I’ll keep praying that he doesn’t get any (freedoms).

“At least he has a life. He chose to do what he did but he didn’t give his victim or even have any thought of her.”

Joe has also argued for longer, more personal visits with his two sons (both now aged over 18) and to be sent to an open prison.

Rachel’s brother Paul described his attempt to get slacker jail terms as "barbaric", adding: "He shouldn’t even be allowed apply."

And her father Jim told the Sunday World: "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."

What did her parents say about the new documentary?

Rose and Jim said they felt it was important to take part in the Channel 5 documentary, The Lie: Murder in Suburbia, as a bid to keep her memory alive.

However, Rose admitted that participating in the documentary was “heavy going”.

“You know it is between your two eyes all the time but really sort of putting it out there or even talking about it, it’s horrific really,” she added.

Reflecting on her daughter’s life was particularly difficult, as she described her as “a live wire and such a good heart.”

She added: “Just no badness in her at all. It’s just horrific to think of how her life was taken from her.”

Rose added that she wished Joe had divorced Rachel, and that her daughter would have gone on to have a wonderful life.

“He wanted rid of her and that’s what he done. He tried to destroy her to be honest with you,” she said.

When is ‘The Lie: Murder in Suburbia’ on TV?

The Channel 5 documentary airs across two night, beginning on Wednesday 15 December at 9pm on Channel 5. Episode two airs the following night, at 9pm.