Thursday 22 August 2019

'I'm not talking to anyone' - Mary Lowry closes door on trial ordeal as locals try to move on

Mary Lowry at her home yesterday
Mary Lowry at her home yesterday
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

The people closest to the 'love rival' murder trial were trying to return to normality in the quiet Tipperary towns that were centre stage in the case.

For nearly four months, locals paid close attention to reports from the Central Criminal Court. Others had been following the case ever since Bobby Ryan was first reported missing in 2011.

Mary Lowry, who dominated media coverage as her love affairs with the victim and the killer were played out in the courtroom, politely declined to comment on the case when approached at her home.

"We're not interested. I'm not talking to anyone. No, sorry," Ms Lowry told the Irish Independent.

The Bansha property, where she lives with her three sons, is less than 10km from the farmyard in Fawnagowan where the remains of Bobby Ryan were discovered in June 2013.

The family of Patrick Quirke also went about their daily routine yesterday, less than 24 hours after he was convicted of murder.

A male relative carried out work at the farm, attempting to herd a stray cow that had wandered out onto the road back to the yard at the Breanshamore property.

When asked if the family had any comment to make on Quirke's conviction, the man declined to answer and drove away in a 4x4.

Justice: Robert and Michelle Ryan outside court after Quirke was found guilty
Justice: Robert and Michelle Ryan outside court after Quirke was found guilty

The large farmland is a far cry from the jail cell of Mountjoy Prison where Patrick Quirke, now prisoner 107243, has spent the first two nights of his mandatory life sentence.

But as Quirke stared down the barrel of a life sentence for the murder of Bobby Ryan, he attempted to paint a picture of a man without a care in the world.

The 50-year-old farmer was until last week trying to keep a somewhat composed demeanour in his home town of Tipperary.

Locals spoke about how the convicted killer returned home from court in the evenings and would, most days, enjoy a leisurely walk holding hands with his wife along with their dog through the busy town.

He did this, members of the community say, almost every day during his lengthy murder trial.

"You would see him walking through the town with the wife, and their dog. Every day after he got off the train back from Dublin. It was like he was trying to show people that he had nothing to worry about," one local businessman who knew Quirke said.

"I would have met him a few times but I didn't know him too well at all. He could have been trying to keep up appearances, who knows what was going through his head," the man added.

Others in the town said they were "shocked" after hearing of Quirke's guilty verdict.

One man said that locals thought he was guilty, but were surprised he was convicted following what had become the longest murder trial in the history of the State.

"I was shocked, and I just didn't think the evidence was there.

"At the start of the trial I thought he was done for, but as it went on there was a feeling he'd get off," he said.

"When Bobby first went missing there was a few suspicions here and there but nobody was pointing the finger directly.

"Then it became obvious after a while what Quirke had done. Fair play to the Garda, I guess.

"Justice was done at the end of the day," the Tipperary man said.

The communities of Tipperary town, Bansha and Breanshamore are, like the Quirke and Lowry families, trying to get on following the conclusion of the trial.

"It's done with as far as the people here are concerned. There's obviously a lot of sympathy for Bobby Ryan and his family, but in terms of around here people are just trying to get on with things," one local man in the town explained.

But for the relatives of Bobby Ryan, it is anything but a simple case of moving on with their lives after their loved one was killed in such horrific circumstances.

Their victim impact statement spoke about the nightmares and trauma they still suffer as they reel from the loss of the man they lovingly called Grandad Bob.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News