herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Suspect in murder of man found in slurry tank is arrested again

PROBE

The prime suspect for the murder of Bobby Ryan, whose body was found at the bottom of a disused slurry tank, has been arrested for a second time by investigating gardai.

Senior officers now plan to complete a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions who will determine if criminal charges should be brought.

The arrest was carried out yesterday after gardai uncovered new evidence in their long-running inquiries.

This followed a detailed examination of a computer, which had been seized from the suspect earlier in the investigation.

Detectives said other items had also emerged, which opened up new lines of inquiry.

The suspect was detained by officers at his home in the Tipperary town area yesterday morning and taken for questioning to the local garda station.

Detention

He was held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and his period of detention was extended yesterday evening.

Officers are understood to have questioned the man about the latest developments and all of the details will be included in the book of evidence.

Mr Ryan (52) had been classified as a missing person for almost two years before his body was discovered on April 30, 2013.

Detectives arrested the prime suspect initially last June but the man was released without charge after questioning.

A woman was also arrested and questioned about allegedly withholding information. She was also released.

Officers say they continue to make progress with their inquiries and are now in the final phase of the investigation.

John Ryan, brother of Bobby, recently said the family were still campaigning for justice for the murdered man.

"He disappeared just before the June bank holiday weekend.

"Bobby was known the length and breadth of Tipperary from his work driving the lorry and working as a DJ. He was a loveable rogue," John said.

His remains were found in a slurry tank two years ago by well-known farmer Pat Quirke.

Mr Quirke is the former brother-in-law of Bobby Ryan's partner, Mary Lowry, and was renting lands from her when he found the human remains.

John Ryan appealed to anyone with information to contact the gardai.

"Somebody knows something. Bobby didn't jump into the tank of his own free will and put a slab on top of himself.

"Somebody out there knows what happened to him and it is time for our family's pain to end. Please go to the gardai if you know something or saw anything.

"We just want to get on with our lives and get justice for Bobby. He deserves that much," Mr Ryan said.

The last words John Ryan heard from his brother were: "I'll see ya".

His brother had been due to drive to work at Killough quarry, near Thurles, but after he failed to arrive, his family were alerted.

Michelle Ryan found her father's abandoned Citroen van in Bansha woods a few hours later.

A separated father-of-two, who used the stage-name Mr Moonlight when he worked weekends as a DJ, Mr Ryan left Ms Lowry's house shortly after 6am on the morning he disappeared in June 2011.

Searches

Despite extensive searches of the surrounding area, the remains were not discovered until the tank was opened up by Mr Quirke.

Since the discovery, gardai have carried out an extensive investigation and officers say they have collected a substantial dossier of information, including the results of detailed technical inquiries.

During the investigation, gardai re-examined footage taken from CCTV cameras at the time of the initial inquiries.

Officers had not searched the slurry tank previously because they had not known it existed.

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