Thursday 22 August 2019

Mr Moonlight murder trial: Agony aunt told Quirke he had chance to 'make good'

Reached out for advice: The letter Patrick Quirke wrote to the ‘Dear Patricia’ agony aunt page of the ‘Sunday Independent’
Reached out for advice: The letter Patrick Quirke wrote to the ‘Dear Patricia’ agony aunt page of the ‘Sunday Independent’
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Patrick Quirke's despair at how he had made a "right mess" of his life was laid bare in a letter to the 'Dear Patricia' agony aunt page in the 'Sunday Independent'.

In the course of the Bobby Ryan murder trial, Mary Lowry said she had seen the letter in February 2011 from a married man complaining that he had an affair with a woman who had dumped him.

She said the details seemed to show it was Patrick Quirke, and when she confronted him about it, he said he had nobody else to turn to.

But while the court heard some details about what was in the letter he sent to agony aunt Patricia Redlich, her no-nonsense response was not read out.

In the course of the letter he said: "I'm still in love with my ex-lover even though I accept that the affair is over.

"I wish I wasn't, and wish I could transfer the feelings I have for her back to my wife. How do I begin to rebuild my life?"

Patrick Quirke arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Patrick Quirke arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The Irish Independent can reveal that in her response, Ms Redlich said: "You could begin by ditching the self-pity. Don't you know the most basic rule in life, namely that the wrong-doer doesn't get the luxury of saying he's having a hard time? And he most certainly can't feel sorry for himself.

"You chose to have an affair. It's gone south. Tough.

"And that's letting you off lightly. We could tell this story differently. You made a move on a newly widowed woman, who not only saw you as a support because you were her husband's friend, but who also depended on you for business reasons. She was vulnerable.

"Even if she made the first move, a kind man would have sidestepped, allowing her time to get back on her feet.

Robert and Michelle Ryan, with a photo of their murdered father, Bobby Ryan, outside court after the jury returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Patrick Quirke. PIC: Collins Courts
Robert and Michelle Ryan, with a photo of their murdered father, Bobby Ryan, outside court after the jury returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Patrick Quirke. PIC: Collins Courts

"A married man with any decency would definitely have backed away.

"It could be argued, in short, that you've broken faith with two women. Not to mention the fact that all of this is effectively happening within the family, so very definitely in your own backyard. Not nice.

"There's something else you apparently don't understand. As her married lover, you had no claim on this woman at all. She didn't cheat on you. She simply found someone else. Just as you hung on to someone else, namely your wife."

The reply also said: "The really troubling thing is that you are so self-absorbed. Not to mention the fact that even now you're failing to take responsibility for your own actions.

"You say you unfortunately had an affair, as if it were entirely beyond your control.

"And while you mention shame, it doesn't ring true, to be brutally honest."

Ms Redlich said: "Sometimes happiness is simply a question of taking stock. And then being grateful for what life has given you."

She added: "You're getting a second chance, an opportunity to make good."

Irish Independent

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