Tuesday 17 September 2019

Judge says time, location and date of death are an issue in 'love-rival' trial

Pleaded not guilty: Patrick Quirke departs the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Pleaded not guilty: Patrick Quirke departs the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The jury in the Tipperary 'love-rival' murder trial has been told the time, date and location of the killing are an issue in the case.

It will resume its deliberations this morning at the Central Criminal Court.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Deliberations have been ongoing since Tuesday afternoon, and the jury has now spent three hours and 38 minutes considering its verdict.

Farmer Patrick Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his alleged love rival Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ known as 'Mr Moonlight'.

When the jury of six men and six women was brought into court yesterday morning, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon said she had previously told it the prosecution does not have to prove the location of death in this case.

She said that in fact what the prosecution had to prove is that the death of Mr Ryan occurred in Co Tipperary.

But the judge added that in law the prosecution does not have to prove a specific location.

She told jurors that in this case the time, date and location of the killing were an issue. The judge told the jury it was for it to decide what weight to give to evidence.

She also said it needed to bear in mind the burden of proof was on the prosecution.

The jury was also given USB sticks yesterday by both the prosecution and defence containing documentation entered in evidence.

The court heard the jury had been provided with a large screen on which to view the documents.

Mr Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, denies murdering Mr Ryan (52) on a date between June 3, 2011, and April 2013.

The prosecution alleges Mr Quirke killed Mr Ryan so he could rekindle his affair with Mary Lowry, the widow whose farm Mr Quirke was leasing.

Mr Quirke and Ms Lowry had an affair between 2008 and 2010, which she described in court as "sordid" and "sleazy".

Ms Lowry began a relationship with Mr Ryan after meeting him in August 2010.

The jury has heard Mr Ryan disappeared after leaving Ms Lowry's house at Fawnagown, Co Tipperary, at 6.30am on the morning of June 3, 2011.

His body was discovered 22 months later by Mr Quirke in an underground tank on the farm. The prosecution alleges the discovery was "staged".

There are two verdicts open to the jury, either guilty of murder or not guilty.

A short time into their deliberations on Tuesday, the jury sought printouts of Mr Quirke's interviews with gardaí as well as phone records entered in evidence.

The prosecution has said the case against Mr Quirke is built on various strands of circumstantial evidence. It says that when woven together these leave no room for doubt that he is guilty of murder.

However, the defence argues there is no hard evidence against Mr Quirke and that the height of the prosecution case was suspicion.

In her charge to the jury, Ms Justice Creedon said circumstantial evidence could be powerful, but also needed to be treated with care. She said the jury needed to be objective and dispassionate.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News