THE mother of murder victim Rachel O'Reilly has written a personal memoir about her daughter, her violent death and the trial that finally brought her killer husband to justice. Rose Callaly's book, Remembering Rachel: The story of Rachel O'Reilly's Life and Brutal Death, will be published by Penguin Ireland later this year.
The mother of two was bludgeoned to death at her home at Naul, Dublin, in 2004, sparking one of the most high-profile murder investigations and sensational criminal trials the country has ever seen.
Callaly declined to comment on the book and a spokeswoman for Penguin Ireland said the company had advised the family to avoid discussing it in the media for the time being. "We are not preventing them but we are advising them not to speak to the press before the release of the book," she said. "Ultimately we are just not ready at the moment."
An online synopsis of the forthcoming story, a guaranteed bestseller in Ireland, where the trial of Joe O'Reilly attracted almost unprecedented public and media interest, describes how the book came about.
"Worried that Rachel was getting lost in the horror of the case, and as a way of coping with the nightmares, Rose started to write," it says. "She wrote about the child who was so full of life and fun, of the girl who dreamed about starting her own family, of the young mother who loved her husband and lived for her sons."
The book is also likely to deal with the immense pressure and stress endured by Rachel's family as the entire nation looked towards the sensational murder trial.
"Rose sifted her memories, trying to make sense of it all, and to her dismay she found that there were small signs there that all was not well in Rachel's marriage," notes the summary.
"She wrote it all down. And as she travelled on the long road to justice, she also put down her observations and feelings about everything she and her family were going through."
Acknowledging the murder as one of the most "talked-about and tragic" the country has ever seen, the summary describes Callaly's memoir as an "extraordinary and heart-rending portrait of motherly love".
By the time of its publication in October, Joe O'Reilly will have spent more than two years behind bars since his conviction in July 2007.