Tuesday 20 February 2018

Farmer silent as he's charged over body in slurry pit

Family and friends of Bobby Ryan watch as Pat Quirke(49) from Bansha, Co Tipperary, arrives at Tipperary District Court to face a charge of murder. Photos: Liam Burke/Press 22
Family and friends of Bobby Ryan watch as Pat Quirke(49) from Bansha, Co Tipperary, arrives at Tipperary District Court to face a charge of murder. Photos: Liam Burke/Press 22
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A farmer has been charged with the murder of a popular Tipperary DJ whose body was found in a slurry pit.

Pat Quirke (49) was remanded in custody after being charged with the murder of Bobby Ryan (52) before Tipperary District Court.

Judge Marie Keane was told that Mr Quirke, of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, was charged with the murder of Mr Ryan on a date unknown on or around June 3, 2011.

The charge also specifies an unknown location.

Det Inspector Pat O'Callaghan told the court he arrested Mr Quirke at 5.10pm on Tuesday and brought him to Tipperary garda station.

Mr Quirke was cautioned and charged at 6.30pm in the garda station with the murder of Mr Ryan.

Pat Quirke has been remanded in custody charged with murdering Bobby Ryan in 2011. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Pat Quirke has been remanded in custody charged with murdering Bobby Ryan in 2011. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

He told the court that the defendant replied: "I don't agree with the charge."

Mr Quirke appeared in court wearing brown slacks, a purple jumper and blue shirt.

He did not speak during the brief hearing.

Mr Ryan, of Boherlahan, Cashel, Co Tipperary, vanished on June 3, 2011.

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan

He had left his Tipperary home at 6am that day to go to work at Killough Quarry outside Thurles.

However, he never arrived at work and his family subsequently raised the alarm amid concerns for his welfare.

Mr Ryan's Citroen van was found some time later by his daughter Michelle parked outside Bansha.

It had been left in an isolated woodland.

Mr Ryan had vanished just before the June bank holiday weekend.

The Tipperary man was very well known in the area thanks to his work as a popular local DJ.

He operated under the name 'Mr Moonlight' and was a fixture at weekend social events in Tipperary and Limerick.

A huge search operation was launched which included posters being placed in virtually all shops, pubs and public offices across Tipperary, Limerick and north Cork.

However, 22 months later Mr Ryan's body was found in an underground concrete waste disposal tank on a farm located some 5km outside Tipperary town.

The grim discovery was made on April 30, 2013, during the emptying of the tank for farm work.

A post-mortem examination had indicated that Mr Ryan had been battered to death before his body was dumped in the three-metre deep pit.

Judge Keane said that the issue of bail does not arise as, given that a murder charge is involved, bail can only be dealt with in the case by the High Court. She remanded Mr Quirke in custody to appear again before Thurles District Court on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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