Wednesday 23 October 2019

'My first instinct was the body was Bobby ... sure, who else would it be?'

Verbal row: Mary Lowry outside court in January after giving evidence at the trial. Photo: Tony Gavin
Verbal row: Mary Lowry outside court in January after giving evidence at the trial. Photo: Tony Gavin
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Murder accused Patrick Quirke told gardaí how he could describe the body of Bobby Ryan "graphically, every time I close my eyes".

In interviews after the discovery of the body at Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary, Mr Quirke claimed it was his "first instinct" that the remains were that of Mr Ryan, saying: "Sure, who else would it be?"

In interviews conducted on May 16, 2013, Mr Quirke told gardaí he had gone to the run-off tank on April 30, expecting it to contain enough water for him to mix with slurry, but he was "disappointed" as it was only a half to two-thirds full.

He began to suck the water out but thought it seemed "stuck to the ground" so he stopped and began again.

"This time I was watching closer," he said, adding: "That's when I saw the body."

Asked by gardaí whether he could describe it, he replied: "Graphically, every time I close my eyes."

He had called his wife Imelda, explaining later that he was in shock and needed her with him. "I know what Imelda is like in a crisis. I know she'd know what to do," he said.

Asked why he hadn't phoned gardaí, he said: "I don't know. I wasn't thinking straight. I wasn't acting straight.

"I just wanted to meet one person."

Gardaí asked why he did not alert the landowner Mary Lowry, he said: "I didn't want to meet her," adding that he wanted to "avoid her".

He said he was concerned the body was naked, adding: "My first instinct was the man didn't walk out of the house."

Asked whether he had any theories of how the body had ended up in the tank, he replied: "I don't know. I turned that around in my head."

He said he had been involved in a conversation with someone who said it was "standard to remove the clothing to get rid of forensics" and that "someone professional would remove the clothes".

"You come up with theories. It frightened me, the whole thing frightened me," he told gardaí.

He was "afraid" of Mary Lowry, he claimed. When asked why, he replied: "I'm always afraid of Mary Lowry."

"She's vicious. She already abused me the evening before in the yard," he said, claiming he had met her in her yard and asked whether she was "all right there".

"She basically let fly verbal abuse, she knew she was being caught snooping and she didn't like being caught," he said.

Asked whether she was ever violent towards him or whether it was verbal abuse, Mr Quirke replied that it was verbal abuse.

"Were you ever verbal towards her?" gardaí asked him and Mr Quirke said: "Yes, probably."

Put to him that he had said his first instincts were that the body was that of Bobby Ryan, he said: "Sure, who else would it be?"

"I always thought something sinister happened," he said.

"I suppose I'm always curious by nature. I couldn't go with the flow because I knew he didn't commit suicide," Mr Quirke said.

He told them he knew Mr Ryan had not just gone into the woods or "hitched a ride" to Rosslare and got the ferry - but also knew he hadn't committed suicide because they hadn't found a body, adding: "Anyone who commits suicide wants to be found."

Irish Independent

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