Friday 22 March 2019

'Love rival' trial: 'I'm always afraid of Mary Lowry, she's vicious' - Patrick Quirke told gardai

'I had an affair with this woman but that is my only crime'

Patrick Quirke denies murder. Photo: Collins Courts
Patrick Quirke denies murder. Photo: Collins Courts
Mary Lowry. Photo: Tony Gavin
Bobby Ryan
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

MURDER accused Patrick Quirke told the gardaí that his "only crime" was having an affair with Mary Lowry and that his name was "destroyed" in his home town.

In interviews after the discovery of the body of Bobby Ryan, Mr Quirke claimed that it was his "first instinct" that the remains were that of Mr Ryan, saying: "Sure, who else would it be?"

He also told gardaí that in the immediate aftermath of his discovery of the remains in the tank on Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary, he did not want to meet Mary Lowry and that he "wanted to avoid her."

He told them he was "afraid" of her, describing her as "vicious" and claimed she had "let fly", verbally abusing him the previous evening.

Mary Lowry. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Lowry. Photo: Tony Gavin

Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan (52), a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight on a date between June 3 2011 and April 2013.

Gardaí asked Mr Quirke in interviews why he had not telephoned them rather than his wife.

"I don't know. I wasn't thinking straight. I wasn't acting straight. I just wanted to meet one person," he told them.

Asking why he said he wanted to avoid Mary Lowry, he said: "I was concerned the body was naked. I suppose I wasn't thinking straight. My first instinct was the man didn't walk out of the house. I didn't want to meet her."

Gardaí asked Mr Quirke if he had any theories of how the body had ended up in the tank.

"I don't know. I turned that around in my head," he replied.

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan

Putting it to him that he said he was concerned that the body was naked, Mr Quirke said: "Concerned wasn't a good word. It concerned me that the body was naked. That man didn't walk out of the house."

He said he had been involved in discussions that it was 'standard to remove the clothing to get rid of forensics.'

"Someone professional would remove the clothes," Mr Quirke told the Gardaí, saying his wife's sister-in-law had said this.

Asked how he had thought of this, Mr Quirke replied: "This is just your instincts kicking in. You come up with theories. It frightened me, the whole thing frightened me."

The gardaí put it to him that he said he was afraid of Mary Lowry and asked why.

"I'm always afraid of Mary Lowry," he said, adding: "She's vicious. She already abused me the evening before in the yard."

He explained that he had gone up there because he had forgotten to take the keys out of the ignition of the contractors' tractor and his wife had warned him to go over and take it out.

He met Mary coming back through the yard and he asked her if she was 'alright there.' "She basically let fly verbal abuse, she knew she was being caught snooping and she didn't like being caught," he said.

Asked if this was a trait he had seen in Ms Lowry before, Mr Quirke said, 'yes,' and asked if she was ever violent towards him or if this had verbal abuse, Mr Quirke replied that it was verbal abuse.

"Were you ever verbal towards her?" Gardaí asked him and Mr Quirke said: "Yes, probably."

Asked what he had discussed with his wife while standing by the tank waiting for the gardaí to arrive, Mr Quirke said he was not sure.

Put to him that had said that his first instincts were that the body was that of Bobby Ryan, he said: "Sure who else would it be?"

"I always thought something sinister happened," he said and when asked why, "I suppose I'm always curious by nature. I couldn't go with the flow because I knew he didn't commit suicide."

He told them he knew Mr Quirke had not just gone into the woods or 'hitched a ride' to Rosslare and got the ferry.

Again asked why he believed Mr Ryan didn't commit suicide, he replied: "Because they didn't find a body. Anyone who commits suicide wants to be found."

Asked if he liked Bobby Ryan he said he did not know him well enough to like him, adding: "I probably didn't have anything in common with him so we were never going to  be friends."

Gardaí asked him if he was happy Mary Lowry was going out with him and he said he wasn't happy how things finished up between him and Mary Lowry.

"My name is destroyed in this town," he said.

"I spent my life in this town and my name is destroyed. I had an affair with this woman but that is my only crime. Whether it was ye or Mary Lowry who went to the papers but my name is destroyed. I'd hate to say I have to clear my name but my name is mud."

The trial continues.

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