Sunday 18 August 2019

Patrick Quirke describes theory he alerted gardaí to be 'in control' of murder probe as 'load of crap', court told

Support: Patrick Quirke with his wife Imelda at court. Picture: Collins
Support: Patrick Quirke with his wife Imelda at court. Picture: Collins
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Patrick Quirke asked gardaí why he would murder Bobby Ryan and then show people where his body was and "try to manipulate that".

He described as a "load of crap" the theory that he alerted gardaí as to the whereabouts of the body because he wanted to be "in control" and didn't want it to be found by someone else, asking them why he would bring this "nightmare" on himself.

When gardaí asked Mr Quirke about searches for human decomposition that were carried out on his computer, he told them: "My son had recently died. That's all I'm saying."

However, they put it to him that since his young son had died in August 2012 and that he looked up 'body decomposition' on July 25, 2012, that it "completely blows out of the water" what he had told them.

Mr Quirke (52), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan (52), a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight between June 3, 2011 and April 2013.

Detective Inspector Seamus Maher told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman SC that gardaí arrested Mr Quirke on suspicion of Mr Ryan's murder on June 19, 2014, and interviewed him the following day at Tipperary garda station.

Gardaí put it to him that Mr Quirke had carried out internet searches on human decomposition in a bid to establish the condition of the remains of Mr Ryan.

However, he rejected this, saying that if he knew where Mr Ryan was, all he would have had to do was open the lid of the tank and look in, given that he had access to the tank at all times.

Gardaí urged Mr Quirke "for the sake of the two boys and [his wife] Imelda" - who also had access to the family computer - to be fair to them and asked him whether there was anything he wanted to tell the gardaí.

"My son had recently died. That's all I'm saying," he told them.

Gardaí subsequently told him these items had been viewed over "a long time" and put it to him he was not looking at it for the reasons he had said but because of "the body of Bobby Ryan and what condition he would be in".

"If I knew where Bobby Ryan was and I wanted to view the decomposition, surely all I'd have to do is open the lid of the tank and put it back on again?" he told them.

He added that what they were suggesting didn't "make any sense".

Gardaí said he could have adopted the view that his hand was being forced regarding the farm because he was no longer going to be leasing it.

Mr Quirke told them the website said the remains would be skeletalised after two years but the body he saw in the tank "was not a skeleton". So for them to suggest he had "done his homework" did not make any sense.

He put it to them he could have put "a load of earth" in and covered in the tank and gardaí replied: "There was a million and one things you could've done, Pat."

They suggested to him that it went back to his need for control and he decided he would discover the body.

"I decided to give the body back - what a load of crap," Mr Quirke told them. "Why would I invite that nightmare into my life?"

Mr Quirke later again asked why he would bring it all on himself and gardaí suggested it was down to "decency".

"You're an inherently decent man who may have made a mistake," they put it to him.

Mr Quirke replied: "There's a connection between losing my son and I wanting to do the decent thing - is that what you're saying?"

The gardaí added: "And closure."

Again put to him he was a decent man, Mr Quirke said he could not accept that as a reason. "Why would I murder a man then ponder over it later and say I'll show people where it is and try and manipulate that?" he said.

He told them he could not understand why he would bring that on himself in April - "one of the busiest times in the farming calendar" - asking: "Why didn't I do it in January?"

Irish Independent

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