BANDON’S Graham Dwyer, who was convicted of the murder of Elaine O’Hara following a lengthy trial at the Central Criminal Court in 2015, could be set to appeal his murder conviction, following a major ruling earlier this week at the European Court of Justice (CJEU) regarding the retention of phone data.
The former architect, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of the childcare worker in August 2012, challenged the legality of the prosecution using mobile phone data to convict him of the murder.
Dwyer had argued following his conviction that the data retention regime and the unhampered access of gardaí to the data was inconsistent with EU law and took his case to the High Court in 2018. It ruled in his favour and the State appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, who then referred it to the European Court of Justice, who this week confirmed that Ireland’s system of retaining and accessing mobile phone metadata breaches EU Law.
Dwyer’s case will now go back to the Supreme Court for a decision and he may appeal his conviction to the Court of Appeal later this year if it rules in his favour.
The murder trial of Graham Dwyer in 2015 shocked, not just people across the country, but also in Bandon, where he grew up and went to school.
The gruesome details of the events leading up to Elaine O’Hara’s murder were forensically outlined during his trial, while phone and text messages proved to be an integral element of the evidence in what was one of the country’s biggest murder trials.
Elaine O’Hara’s partial remains were found in a forest in the Dublin mountains and Dwyer was sentenced to life imprisonment for her murder after his trial heard that he stabbed Elaine to death for his own sexual gratification.
One of his school friends, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Dwyer will be eager to lodge an appeal as soon as possible and would be reasonably confident of a successful outcome.
‘This has been his key mechanism to overturn his conviction for Elaine’s murder and this week’s ruling from the European Court of Justice will boost his chances even more. I would suspect that he’s pretty confident that he will win his appeal and I understand he has been studying law intensely while in prison.
‘If he wins his appeal I don’t think he’d be coming back to Bandon, though,’ he predicted.