Monday 23 September 2019

'Love rival' trial jury have 'not yet' reached unanimous verdict

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

Eoin Reynolds

The jury foreman in the trial of a farmer who denies murdering his alleged love rival replied, "not yet" this afternoon when asked if a unanimous verdict had been reached.

The six men and six women have been considering their verdict since last Tuesday and have spent a total of 16 hours and 21 minutes deliberating behind closed doors.

Shortly after 1pm the registrar at the Central Criminal Court asked the foreman if the jury had reached a verdict. He replied: "Not yet."

Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ going by the name Mr Moonlight.

Mr Ryan went missing on June 3, 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am. His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary 22 months later on April 30, 2013.

The jury of six men and six women have been considering the evidence put before them during a 13-week trial which was followed by a week of closing speeches from barristers for the defence and prosecution.

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

The prosecution claims that Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (52). The defence says the prosecution has failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and that Mr Quirke should be acquitted.

In her charge last week Ms Justice Eileen Creedon told the jury they must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust, and they must treat circumstantial evidence against the accused with care.

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