Monday 19 August 2019

'Love rival' trial: Jury told they can return a majority verdict

On trial: Patrick Quirke. Picture: Collins
On trial: Patrick Quirke. Picture: Collins
Bobby Ryan
Pleaded not guilty: Patrick Quirke leaves the Criminal Courts of Justice with his wife Imelda. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Patrick Quirke with his wife Imelda outside court. Picture: 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’ trial has resumed its deliberation after taking a break for lunch.

Jurors have now been considering their verdict in the case for over 20 hours since being sent out last Tuesday week at the Central Criminal Court.

Earlier today, the trial judge, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon, told the jury of six men and six women they may at this point return a majority verdict.

This would be a verdict ten or more jurors are agreed upon.

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan

Farmer Pat Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, denies murdering his alleged love rival Bobby 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 Ryan was in a relationship with Ms Lowry at the time of his disappearance.

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, but the prosecution alleges this was a “staged” discovery.

The jury have two options open to them, a finding or guilty of murder or a finding of not guilty.

This morning Ms Justice Creedon told the jury she would accept a verdict if at least ten of them agree. If they cannot reach at least a ten to two majority they can write "disagree" or "disagreement".

The prosecution has said its case against Mr Quirke involves various strands of circumstantial evidence, which, when woven together, prove his guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, the defence disagrees. It says there is no hard evidence against Mr Quirke and that he should be acquitted

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