Friday 20 September 2019

'Love rival' trial: 'The human condition can only tolerate so much coincidence', jury told

Patrick Quirke and his wife Imelda outside court, where he has pleaded not guilty to murder. Photo: Collins Courts
Patrick Quirke and his wife Imelda outside court, where he has pleaded not guilty to murder. Photo: Collins Courts
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

"THE human condition can only tolerate so much coincidence before we shake our head and say that is not coincidence - that is planned," the jury have been told in the Patrick Quirke murder trial.

The prosecution have begun their closing speeches, with Michael Bowman SC saying that they must bring their critical faculties to bear to clear away the fog of speculation.

He asked them first to consider Patrick Quirke 'not as a jealous lover' who took the life of Bobby Ryan as the prosecution contends, but as "a loving, caring father, a loving caring husband, a much-loved member of his family." He asked the jury to sit "where his wife and son had sat with dignity for the last few weeks."

Mr Bowman suggested to the jury that even in this position, they would be compelled to bring in a verdict of guilt.

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,

The barrister told the jury that inferences are very important in this case, as they are operating in a "forensically barren landscape".

However he asked them to bring their critical faculties to bear, since "The human condition can only tolerate so much coincidence before we shake our head and say that is not coincidence....that is planned."

"I want to recalibrate the case," said Mr Bowman, telling them: "It may be we have lost somebody in this trial.

"It may be we have lost of focus in terms of what we are doing here."

He said this case is about a man "living a quiet and peaceful and content life in a small village, a man who lived his job, a man who loved music, a man who loved to dance, who loved his girlfriend and who very dearly loved his two children."

"It is about a man who loved life, about a man who was universally loved and liked," Mr Bowman said of Bobby Ryan.

The word used by his daughter, Michelle Ryan to describe him was "wow", he reminded them. To Mary Lowry, he was: "A breath of fresh air in my life."

"This case is about the fact that Bobby Ryan's life was taken," said Mr Bowman.

"Who would want to take the life of such a man? To strip him naked of his worldly possessions and his dignity and leave his body to decompose in a sealed chamber on a farm in Fawnagowan?"

Mr Bowman claimed that murder was not Patrick Quirke's "first port of call" in this case, and that he had made "several attempts to scuttle the fledgling relationship between Mary Lowry and Bobby Ryan."

He took her phone in the early days when they got together and contacted Mr Ryan to suggest that he had been 'played for a fool' and that Mr Quirke was "the man."

"He's marking out his territory and he's telling Bobby to back off, Mary Lowry is my woman, I'm the man," said Mr Bowman.

Ms Lowry's world had 'almost come crashing down around her ears' when Mr Quirke went to the Social Services to say Mary had 'lost the run of herself in this new relationship, she's neglecting emotionally her own children and something has to be done about this."

The prosecution counsel suggested this was "attempt two" to scuttle or otherwise derail the relationship because Mr Quirke knows that Mary would protect her children at all cost. "Bobby stands no chance if the HSE gets involved and she has to choose and Mr Quirke knows it," he said.

The trial continues.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News