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Thursday 20 June 2019

Murder accused asked how 'Mr Moonlight' died, garda tells court

Farmer Patrick Quirke denies murdering Bobby Ryan
Farmer Patrick Quirke denies murdering Bobby Ryan

Gardai seized computers and documents from Patrick Quirke's property less than three weeks after the body of DJ Bobby 'Mr Moonlight' Ryan was found, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Detective Sergeant John Keane said that when gardai arrived, the accused asked him what they were looking for so he handed him a copy of the warrant.

After Mr Quirke read it, Det Sgt Keane noted that the accused said to him that the media was wrong when it said Mr Ryan's clothes and wallet were found in the tank with the body.

Det Sgt Keane also noted that Mr Quirke asked him how Mr Ryan died.

The garda told Mr Quirke he could not tell him.

Mr Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Ryan.

Mr Ryan went missing on June 3, 2011, after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry's home at about 6.30am.

His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary, 22 months later in April 2013.

The prosecution claims that Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (52).

Det Sgt Keane told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman SC that he had obtained a warrant to search Mr Quirke's home and land from Tipperary District Court on May 13, 2013, and executed it on May 17.

The search began at 9.30am and gardai left at 4.45pm.

The witness was in charge of searching the house and another team searched the lands. During the search, Det Sgt Keane's team's attention was brought to items in another house in the farmyard.

Seized

He said Mr Quirke also gave gardai permission to search lands he had more recently started renting on a neighbouring farm.

During the search gardai seized a computer, electronic devices, documents, green overalls, a red portfolio and other items of that nature, the witness said.

They also took possession of a Ford pick-up truck and a trailer.

Det Sgt Keane agreed with defence counsel Bernard Condon SC that the accused made his comment about the media being wrong in relation to what was found in the tank after reading the warrant, which stated that gardai were looking for those items.

Earlier, the jury heard from contractor Patrick O'Donnell, who said that around March 2013, Mr Quirke asked him for a loan of a tractor and agitator, a device used to stir slurry so that it can be sucked into a tanker and spread on the fields.

He said this would be a normal request and, as neighbours, people would often lend things to one another.

The trial continues.

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