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Thursday 20 June 2019

'What the gardai will know' - murder trial told of notes found at accused Quirke's home

Accused Patrick Quirke
Accused Patrick Quirke

A documents expert has told a court that someone had written notes headed "What the gardai will know" on paper found at murder accused Patrick Quirke's home.

Detective Garda Jeremiah Moloney said the evidence emerged when he examined pages found during a search of the home for indentations.

He told the Central Criminal Court that when a person is writing, the pages below can develop indentations that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Using an electrostatic detection device, known as an ESDA machine, it is possible to develop those indentations and make them visible.

When he carried out the procedure on the document, gardai said, he was able to confidently record that on one side of the page someone had written "What the gardai will know".

He told the Central Criminal Court yesterday that two lines below that he found the words: "Murdered poss in house." Four lines below that was the word "location" and a question mark.

Clothes

Further down the page he found: "Mary\walk\kids to school?" and the word "yes" with a ring around it.

On line 16 of the page he found the words: "Dispose of clothes\phone\any other evidence."

On line 25 it read: "Mary had to see him, be with him." The document also noted "Mary" followed by something illegible and then "Needle in haystack."

The writing further stated: "Bobby stayed in yard, ie two mins\ten mins."

On the other side of the page, he found the words: "Agitate need water," "Get load of... following," "Tuesday" and a name.

The witness agreed with Lorcan Staines SC for the defence that the indentations could have come from multiple pages and that in some places there was so much cross writing he couldn't make out what was written.

He further agreed that he could not say how many different notes made up either page.

Mr Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of part-time DJ Bobby Ryan, known as 'Mr Moonlight'.

Mr Ryan (52) 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 Fawnagowan, Tipperary, 22 months later.

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

The trial also heard from solicitor Aidan Leahy, who acted for Ms Lowry in 2012 when she decided to terminate Mr Quirke's lease on her land.

Mr Leahy told Michael Bowman SC, prosecuting, that on December 12 he sent a letter to Mr Quirke saying his client, Ms Lowry, had "concerns" and terminating the lease would be in the best interests of Ms Lowry, Mr Quirke and their families.

The letter also stated that the intruder alarm at Ms Lowry's home had gone off on a number of occasions and while she was not making allegations, she did report an incident to the gardai.

It was also noted Mr Quirke appeared to have interfered with Ms Lowry's letters, looked through her windows and interfered with items on her clothes line.

The letter asked Mr Quirke to refrain from entering Ms Lowry's property and restrict his activities at Fawnagowan to the farmland.

A reply was received from Mr Quirke in January 2013 in which he said there were many inaccuracies in the previous letter.

He added that his mother-in-law lived at Fawnagowan and looked forward to his visits.

Mr Quirke went on that he would consider the termination if he were compensated for loss of earnings and for investments he had made on the land.

Regrets

In March 2013 a solicitor acting for Mr Quirke wrote to Mr Leahy saying the relationship between Ms Lowry and Mr Quirke had deteriorated and Mr Quirke "regrets this deeply".

The letter also said that Mr Quirke would pay a further three months' rent and due to his previous relationship with Ms Lowry, was prepared to forgo any compensation. A subsequent letter from Mr Leahy suggested July 3 as the date for termination of the lease and said that there was no difficulty with Mr Quirke visiting his mother-in-law.

He also requested that Mr Quirke clean out a cattle shed and tanks before leaving.

Mr Quirke's solicitor replied that he was leaving the sheds in the same condition they were in when he took up the lease.

In September 2013, Mr Quirke's solicitor sent a letter denying that a payment was owing from him. Following that, there was an allegation that Ms Lowry made "inflammatory" comments about him in front of his mother-in-law and a request that she not do this again.

The witness confirmed to Mr Bowman that Ms Lowry had given her permission to have the letters used as evidence in the trial.

The trial continues in front of a jury of six men and six women.

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