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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Gardai quiz prime suspect in slurry tank murder probe

Published 20/06/2014 | 02:30

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Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan

GARDAI have arrested the prime suspect for the murder of Bobby Ryan, whose body was found at the bottom of a disused slurry tank.

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Mr Ryan (52) had been classified as a missing person for almost two years before the grim discovery on April 30 last year.

Identification was confirmed with the aid of DNA tests on the body, which were matched with samples taken from members of the murdered man's family.

Last night investigating officers arrested the prime suspect and brought him to Tipperary town garda station for questioning under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1986.

He can be held without charge for up to 24 hours, excluding rest periods.

A woman arrested by gardai in Tipperary town on Wednesday afternoon remained in custody last night.

She can be held for up to three days under the Offences Against the State Act but gardai must go to court today if they want to seek an extension of her period in custody.

She has been detained for allegedly withholding information about the murder.

Mr Ryan's remains were found in the tank at the rear of property, owned by his partner, Mary Lowry, in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary.

A separated father-of-two who used the stagename 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.

Despite extensive searches of the surrounding area, the remains were not discovered until the tank was opened up by farmer Pat Quirke, who had leased the land from Ms Lowry.

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 before because they had not known it existed. The tank had been covered by undergrowth and a concrete slab.

The tank had not been in use since the death of Ms Lowry's husband, Martin, in 2007.

Gardai have already interviewed a number of people, who could potentially help their investigation.

Appeal

For almost two years, Mr Ryan's brother, John, had made numerous appeals for information on the whereabouts of the missing grandfather.

John Ryan said the last words he had heard from his brother before he disappeared 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.

Irish Independent

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