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Killer Quirke's appeal based on decisions made by judge during trial


Patrick Quirke. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Patrick Quirke. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Patrick Quirke. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Killer Patrick Quirke's appeal against his conviction for the murder of love rival Bobby Ryan, which gets under way tomorrow, will be wide-ranging and will focus on several decisions made by the judge during his trial.

Unlike many cases to come before the Court of Appeal, where a small number of points are raised, Quirke's appeal is set to involve multiple issues.

These are expected to include the admission of several pieces of crucial evidence, the alleged repeated late discovery of evidence to the defence team, alleged inadequacies in the Garda investigation, and comments made by trial judge Ms Justice Eileen Creedon to the jury.

No new evidence is expected to be produced in Quirke's defence. The appeal could last up to four days and will involve hundreds of pages of legal submissions.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the appeal will be heard remotely, with submissions being made via video link to the three-judge court.

Quirke (51), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, was jailed for life in May 2019 after a jury found him guilty of Mr Ryan's murder by a 10-2 majority following a trial that gripped the nation for 13 weeks.

The case against him relied heavily on circumstantial evidence. No murder scene or murder weapon were ever found.

Mr Ryan (52), a part-time DJ known as 'Mr Moonlight', ­disappeared on the morning of June 3, 2011, after spending the night at his girlfriend Mary Lowry's home in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary.

It was alleged by the prosecution that Quirke killed his victim so he could rekindle an affair he had with Ms Lowry between 2008 and 2012.

It was also alleged Quirke, a farmer, staged his discovery of the body in a run-off tank on Ms Lowry's farm in April 2013 as his lease of the property was going to be terminated and he would be unable to keep the body hidden.

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Throughout the case, concerns were raised by the defence over the late disclosure of evidence and the Garda investigation.

However, requests to discharge the jury were rejected by the trial judge.

She also rejected an application from the defence for a direction to the jury to acquit Quirke on the grounds the evidence against him was speculative and any conviction would be unsafe.

Other issues raised by the defence team related to the admissibility of evidence about incriminating online searches about human body decomposition on a computer seized from Quirke's house.

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