By Emma Kelly sister of John

The night of the 15th of October 2008, our 24 year old brother John Kelly was on his way home from Kildare to Dublin as he was working with his brother in-law Declan the next day. John left Athy, Co Kildare by Train at 9.35pm and travelled up to Houston Station, Co Dublin. While on the train John was chatting to a girl and asked could he make a call from her phone as his was battery dead. John made two calls to declan his brother in law but Declan’s phone rang out, John also made another two calls to an unknown number. John arranged earlier that day for Declan to collect him when he got to Dublin. John arrived into Houston station at 10.55pm.

For reasons unknown to us John made his way to Britain Quay and ended up in the water where he died. On the 16th of October around lunch time, John’s body was recovered from Britian Quay. When Garda informed our mother about John’s death, she asked how could this happen. Our mother was told by the Garda that the night previous one phone call came in at 12.28 am to say there was screaming and shouting at Britian Quay, our mother was told when the Garda arrived on the scene the Garda threw John a rope and he could not catch it.

When John’s body was recovered he had no money, no phone, no bracelet or cigarettes, he also purchased runners that day that were missing. Our family retrieved CCTV footage of John in Kildare that day carrying a bag with Alan’s foot wear log on it. My family was told John was to be identified through dental records and it was advised to have a closed casket. The day before John was buried, in the funeral home my mother asked for the coffin to be opened. There was bruising on his left side of John’s face, dry blood in his ears and his knuckles on both hands were badly scraped and bruised. We were told by the Garda there was no marks on John’s body. When we asked about John’s Clothes, the coroner’s office said as they were badly soiled with blood and for health & safety reasons they were destroyed.

We voiced our concerns to the Garda and asked for an investigation into John’s death. We were told there was nothing suspicious in John’s death and therefore there will be no investigation. So we took on the investigation ourselves, we contacted Dublin Fire Brigade, who were called for rescue services on the night at 12.57am even though Garda say the phone call came in at 12.28am.

While we were taking statements from residents of the Portview Apartments opposite Britian Quay where John was calling for help, a resident told us on the night she rang Pearse street Garda station, she told them someone was crying for help and someone was in the water, the operator asked her where she was calling from and then the operator told her it wasn’t their jurisdiction and gave the resident the phone number for Irish Town Garda station, when she rang the number given to her she was told she was speaking with Tallaght Garda Station, who then gave her the correct number for Irish Town. When she finally got through to Irish town station, the operator said yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve had several calls already.

Another resident on the night called Irish Town Garda Station, she was told by the operator that it wasn’t in Irish Towns Jurisdiction that it’s Pearse Streets jurisdiction. About two weeks after John’s death the Garda interviewed this resident and made references that John committed suicide and that some people just don’t want help. This resident wasn’t the only one who was told by Garda that John committed suicide. After my family interviewed resident of the apartments we discovered there was a lot more calls on the night into the Garda for help.

After the inquest into John’s death, suicide was ruled out. There’s so many unanswered questions, all my family wanted was our brother’s death to be taken serious and treated with respect.

Our family will continue to push for Justice for John.

Pls sign our petition to get the minister for justice to investigate John’s murder


Prime time ran a reconstruction of John’s last movements.

Interview with myself and my sister Amanda


Justice for John Page