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Sunday 19 January 2020

Killer Quirke's appeal against Mr Moonlight verdict set for October

Patrick Quirke (pictured) was jailed for murdering Bobby Ryan
Patrick Quirke (pictured) was jailed for murdering Bobby Ryan

Farmer Patrick Quirke has been given a date in October to bring an appeal against his conviction for the murder of Bobby Ryan.

Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, denied murdering Mr Ryan, a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight, who went missing on June 3, 2011, after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry's house at about 6.30am.

Mr Ryan's body was found in April 2013 in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by Quirke at Fawnagowan.

Affair

The prosecution said Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle a love affair with Ms Lowry (52) and that he staged the discovery of the DJ's body after Ms Lowry had tried to terminate his lease.

Quirke's lawyers contended that the prosecution had failed to prove its case, pointing to "inconsistencies" in Ms Lowry's evidence and claiming she was "not a reliable witness".

A Central Criminal Court jury returned a majority guilty verdict earlier this year, and Quirke was sentenced to life imprisonment.

He has lodged an appeal against his conviction, which was yesterday given a date for hearing in the Court of Appeal of October 13.

In the 13-week trial, the jury was told Quirke started farming the land at Fawnagowan after the death of Ms Lowry's husband, Martin, in September 2007.

Martin Lowry had been best man at Quirke's wedding.

In 2008, Quirke and Ms Lowry began a sexual relationship that Ms Lowry described as "seedy" and "sordid" and something she regretted.

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan

In August 2010, Ms Lowry met Mr Ryan at a dance and began a relationship with him.

Quirke told gardai that when he found out about their relationship, he was angry and hurt.

He took Ms Lowry's phone and texted Mr Ryan that he was in a relationship with Mary and she had not been honest.

He then called Mr Ryan and told him: "I'm the man."

On June 2, 2011, Mr Ryan called to Ms Lowry's home after 9pm. He stayed the night and left around 6.30am.

Ms Lowry, who waited to hear his van cross a cattle grid, later told gardai he took longer than usual to drive away. He was not seen alive again.

Quirke claimed his affair with Ms Lowry resumed in August 2011 and they stayed in the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford.

In December 2012, Ms Lowry's solicitor sent a letter to Quirke asking to terminate the lease at Fawnagowan. He agreed to leave that June.

In April, Quirke called his wife Imelda to say he had found a body in a waste tank at Fawnagowan.

Quirke gave a voluntary cautioned statement to gardai and denied knowing how Mr Ryan's body ended up in the tank.

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