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Thursday 22 August 2019

Imelda stands by her man with Mountjoy prison visit to killer hubby Quirke

Imelda Quirke on her way to visit killer husband Patrick Quirke at Mountjoy Prison. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick
Imelda Quirke on her way to visit killer husband Patrick Quirke at Mountjoy Prison. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick

This is the wife of Patrick Quirke making her first visit to see her killer husband after he was sentenced to life in prison.

Imelda Quirke was by her husband's side throughout the 15-week trial and appears to be standing by him after he was convicted of murdering Bobby Ryan, the boyfriend of his former lover Mary Lowry.

Quirke was jailed for life last Wednesday after being convicted of the murder of Mr Ryan by a majority 10-2 verdict.

Mr Ryan's body was found in a disused tank on Ms Lowry's farm 22 months after he disappeared on June 3, 2011.

Ms Quirke made her visit to see her husband at Mountjoy Prison yesterday, and it is understood he has also received a visit from other family members since being jailed.

Failure

Meanwhile, a leading medical expert has claimed it was a "failure" that no pathologist supervised the removal of Mr Ryan's body when it was found on Ms Lowry's farm in April 2013.

Former state pathologist for Northern Ireland Prof Jack Crane, who gave evidence during the trial, said it would have been "beneficial" for former deputy state pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber to have seen the body at the time of its discovery and supervised its removal.

That would have meant he could have answered questions more comprehensively.

"Certainly, that's what I would have wanted to have done if I had been involved in the case initially," he said. "If from the outset you have the opportunity to examine the body in situ, then matters that may arise subsequently, you may very well then be in a position to deal with.

"On the other hand, if you don't go to the scene and you haven't assessed it, then if some other matter is raised, you may not be able to answer that, and I think there were issues where it couldn't be answered because of that failure to do so."

Prof Crane's comments were made during last night's Virgin Media One documentary, The Mr Moonlight Murder.

The court heard during the trial that when gardai first found Mr Ryan's body, Dr Jaber was asked to attend the scene by gardai but declined. Gardai then took the decision to remove the body from the tank.

They needed to remove a large concrete slab resting over it in order to allow the fire officers to access it, and they did this using a mini-digger operated by a garda officer.

At one point during the removal of the slab, it split and some of the debris fell into the pit, where Mr Ryan's body was lying. The decision was then made to go into the tank and lever the remains on to a sheet of tarpaulin, which was then eased out of the tank. The body was then taken away for a post-mortem, conducted by Dr Jaber. However, Saudi-born Dr Jaber, who no longer works in Ireland, told the Herald recently that there was nothing unusual about his non-attendance at the scene.

"It's likely there was an agreement and consensual understanding that I receive the body when it arrived at the mortuary," he said.

Dr Jaber said this would have been "the best place" to "fully examine the body".

"In reality, what was done with the handling of Bobby Ryan's body was most proper and correct," he said.

Meanwhile, last night's documentary also featured the victim's son, Robert Ryan, who said that looking back he was "pretty close" to where his father's body would eventually be found nearly two years later.

"I was just at the other side of that milking parlour and it haunts me to this day," he said.

"Trying to sleep every night, I'd be turning and tossing, screaming in bed. I would think I'm in that black hole, scraping on them walls to get out."

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