Killer Graham Dwyer has been given a ‘plum job’ in the Midlands prison – looking after the prison’s birds.
ources say Dwyer – who is serving a life sentence for the gruesome murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara – has been elevated to trustee prisoner status.
“Dwyer’s jobs include caring for the prison’s budgies and hens as well as gardening duties in the outside areas in the prison,” a source told the Sunday World.
“More importantly for Dwyer, the elevation to trustee status brings with it increased privileges, including that Dwyer is now one of a number of inmates in the prison who is allowed to cook their own meals in a special area set aside for trustee inmates.”
Dwyer is currently waiting on a crucial Court of Justice of the EU hearing this month where key legal issues concerning Ireland’s retention of mobile phone data will be heard.
The hearing is expected to have a major impact on Dwyer’s bid to overturn his conviction for the murder of Elaine O’Hara.
The referral was made in February 2020 in the State’s appeal over a key High Court ruling against the validity of a 2011 Irish data retention law central to the investigation and prosecution of serious crime.
If the High Court ruling is upheld, Dwyer is expected to rely on it in his separate criminal appeal to the Court of Appeal over his 2015 conviction for the murder of Ms O’Hara.
Sources say that if this happens, Dwyer is likely to get a retrial on the charge of murdering Elaine.
The mobile phone data obtained by gardai was crucial to the prosecution, in showing how he meticulously planned and also attempted to cover-up Elaine’s murder in August 2012.
Detectives used his call and text records, plus data from the communication masts his phone pinged off, to form a key part of their case against him.
They were able to prove that on the day before the murder, Dwyer’s work phone was at Killakee Mountain in south Dublin – the spot where he stabbed Ms O’Hara to death.
Gardai also used phone analysis to establish a link between Dwyer and two pay-as-you-go mobiles he used to contact his victim.
They were able to point to dozens of occasions when the work phone and one of the two others pinged off the same mast, which helped convince a jury he owned them.
Those phones, known as the “master” and “slave” phones during the trial, in turn linked him to text messages in which he spoke of his desire to rape and kill women, and to stab Ms O’Hara.
Dwyer unsuccessfully tried to have the mobile phone evidence ruled inadmissible, but Judge Tony Hunt allowed the jury to hear it.
Attorney General Paul Gallagher is expected to lead the State’s legal team before the Luxembourg court on September 13.
Last year, the European court ruled, in two similar cases, that EU member states and service providers do not have broad rights to retain data on EU citizens.
Dwyer was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for the murder of 36-year-old Ms O’Hara, who had been missing since August 2012.
Her car was found near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill, and it was initially presumed she had taken her own life after visiting her mother’s grave.
In September 2013, several items including handcuffs and ball gags were found by a garda in Vartry reservoir, near Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, when the water level was depleted.
Three days later, human remains were discovered by a dog walker on Killakee Mountain.
Using dental records, gardaí were able to confirm they were those of Ms O’Hara.
In the ensuing investigation, gardai discovered that the vulnerable woman had been a member of an adult fetish website.
Detectives were able to link her account to Dwyer’s and establish they had been communicating through the site since 2007.