Monday 18 February 2019

'Love rival' trial: Woman says vehicle of missing partner was located after she 'subconsciously' thought of woodland

Mary Lowry leaves the CCJ during the trial of Pat Quirke.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Lowry leaves the CCJ during the trial of Pat Quirke. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Lowry, at court on Thursday where she gave evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke, who is accused of the murder of 52-year-old Bobby Ryan at an unknown location on a date between June 3rd 2011 and April 13th 2013. Photo: Collins
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A woman has told a murder trial how the vehicle of her partner Bobby Ryan was located after she "subconsciously thought of a wood and kept driving."

Mary Lowry told the Central Criminal Court that she met with Mr Ryan's daughter, Michelle, on the day of his disappearance.

Patrick Quirke Photo: Colin O Riordan
Patrick Quirke Photo: Colin O Riordan

Ms Lowry went looking for Michelle Ryan after she told her that her father was missing and found her near the house of a friend of Bobby’s in Tipperary town.

Michelle got into Ms Lowry’s car, while Michelle’s aunt and uncle followed in their car behind.

Ms Lowry said she was driving to her own house but was “so alarmed” that she forgot to drive in her own driveway and continued on towards Kilshane wood.

Michelle kept saying: "I think my dad is in a wood somewhere," Ms Lowry claimed.

"I suppose subconsciously I thought of a wood and kept driving," she said.

She explained that Mr Ryan's disappearance had come as a bolt from the blue.

He had left her house at 6.30am and all of a sudden he was missing.

"I was alarmed and frightened and 'oh my god'," she said. "I thought my bad luck had finished but it seemed to be starting, really," she told the jury.

It is her third day on the stand in the trial of Pat Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 52-year-old Bobby Ryan, a DJ known as Mr Moonlight, on a date between June 3 2011 and April 2013.

Under cross examination by Bernard Condon SC for the Defence, Ms Lowry denied that she had "made up" the detail that she had thought it "unusual" as to why Mr Quirke was on her farm at 8.30am that morning when she knew he had plans to be away that weekend.

"You made that up," said Mr Condon. "I imply that is a lie and you made it up as part of your agenda," he said. "You made up this suggestion that you questioned in your own mind something unusual about Mr Quirke being there."

Ms Lowry told the court that "Mr Quirke has managed to trash himself, not me - we saw a video of him and all the information I have supplied."

Judge Eileen Creedon then interjected, telling Ms Lowry to confine herself to the questions.

Ms Lowry denied a claim by Mr Condon that she had acted dishonestly or had told "lies" in telling gardai that Mr Quirke had looked "very hot and sweaty and bothered looking" when she saw him on her farm that morning.

Mr Condon asked why she had not told this to the gardai in 2011 when she had "ample opportunity" since they had interviewed her four times.

"You were into them a number of times in 2013 and the first time you mentioned it to them was in the course of the seventh visit," Mr Condon said.

Ms Lowry replied that "the important thing to remember is I told the guards," however Mr Condon said: "No, the important thing is you didn't tell them until you were about the business of introducing Mr Quirke in every conceivable way in 2013."

He claimed she had added this detail in "as an ingredient", in the same way she had claimed she had questioned herself about why Mr Quirke had been on her farm at 8.30am and claiming that this was "unusual."

"There were the thoughts that were in my head," Ms Lowry said.

"I've bared my soul in this court case and it's the truth."

However Mr Condon again suggested that she had "no good reason" why she hadn't told this to the gardai in her earlier interviews. "I suggest this was an added piece of poison," he told her.

"I do not agree," Ms Lowry told the  court.

The trial continues.

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