Tuesday 17 September 2019

Killer Patrick Quirke watched US mystery series Ozark as he travelled to trial

Patrick Quirke. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Patrick Quirke. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Ralph Riegel

Killer Pat Quirke (50) avidly watched episodes of the acclaimed US murder mystery series 'Ozark' as he travelled by train to Dublin to attend his murder trial.

Dozens of people - mostly pensioners - travelled weekly from all over Munster to Limerick Junction in Co Tipperary to then take the train to Heuston Station to attend the Central Criminal Court murder trial.

Many would see Quirke in the same train carriage as he travelled over the past three months to attend the Dublin trial with his wife Imelda.

Quirke lived just outside Tipperary town and used the train to travel to the criminal courts complex near Heuston Station.

Quirke, now prisoner number 107243 in Mountjoy Prison, has begun a life sentence after being convicted of the murder of his love rival, Tipperary quarry worker and part-time DJ Bobby Ryan.

Mr Ryan, also known by his DJ moniker 'Mr Moonlight', was murdered and his body dumped in a run-off pit on the farm that Quirke was operating on a lease basis.

Crime drama: A scene from ‘Ozark’, which killer Pat Quirke watched as he travelled by train to
his trial
Crime drama: A scene from ‘Ozark’, which killer Pat Quirke watched as he travelled by train to his trial

One train passenger said it was "surreal" watching the Tipperary farmer on the Dublin train.

"Everyone knew who he was but he didn't seem in the least bit bothered," he said.

"He must have known that everyone in the train carriage was watching him. But he didn't seem to take a single bit of notice.

"He would take his seat with his wife beside him and then start watching his phone or tablet.

"He would watch programmes on the phone all the way to Heuston. Just yards away from him people were reading about his murder trial in their morning newspapers."

The passenger happened to be seated directly behind Quirke on one occasion - and was astounded to realise precisely what the murder accused was avidly watching.

"I couldn't help but glance at his phone or tablet and I realised he was watching 'Ozark'. It is a 2017 American crime series about a financier who is caught up in money-laundering and murder while trying to avoid being killed by himself by a Mexican drugs cartel.

Astonished

"I was watching the same series myself because it had been described as the new 'Breaking Bad.' I was absolutely astonished that anyone caught up in a high-profile murder trial would seem to be trying to escape the stress and pressure of the case by watching a crime series like 'Ozark'. It just struck me as absolutely bizarre.

"I could understand someone listening to music or watching sport to take their mind off things.

"But travelling to a murder trial in Dublin while watching a crime-drama series which features murder, theft and money-laundering? It struck me as very strange."

It emerged during legal argument in Quirke's trial that he had displayed an interest in previous high-profile Irish murder cases through detailed internet searches.

The jury were not told that Quirke had visited an internet blog with the title: 'Why Joe O'Reilly thought he had committed the perfect murder.'

The blog was written about the notorious killing of Rachel O'Reilly by her husband, Joe, in north Dublin in October 2004.

Quirke also researched articles on Síobhan Kearney, murdered by her husband Brian in February 2006, and Jo Jo Dullard, who went missing in 1995.

Irish Independent

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