Wednesday 23 October 2019

Quirke accused Mary Lowry of being 'a right bitch,' her brother tells Mr Moonlight trial

On trial: The accused Patrick Quirke (50) at court with his wife Imelda. Photo: Collins
On trial: The accused Patrick Quirke (50) at court with his wife Imelda. Photo: Collins
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Mary Lowry's brother has told the Tipperary murder trial Patrick Quirke called Mary "a right bitch" and said she had not given him or his wife Imelda any support following the tragic death of their son Alan (11).

Eddie Quigley claimed Mr Quirke had told him if Ms Lowry went to the month's mind, he would "personally remove her from the church."

He also told the trial that in the days after Bobby Ryan went missing, he had been assisting in searches when Ms Lowry's brother-in-law Jimmy commented: "This wouldn't happen if Martin Lowry [Mary Lowry's late husband] was alive."

He was annoyed by the remark, saying: "I felt the blame was being put on Mary."

Farmer 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.

Mr Ryan had been in a relationship with Ms Lowry at the time of his disappearance. Mr Quigley told the court that in August 2012, in the days after the death of Mr Quirke's son, he had been up on the roof repairing the lead valleys when he heard loud shouting between his sister Mary and Mr Quirke.

Witness: Eddie Quigley at court to give evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke, who is accused of the murder of Bobby Ryan. Photo: Collins Courts
Witness: Eddie Quigley at court to give evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke, who is accused of the murder of Bobby Ryan. Photo: Collins Courts

A week or two later, he was at the farm getting materials for fixing the roof when Mr Quirke approached him.

"He said 'your sister is a right bitch', she didn't support him or Melly [Mr Quirke's wife Imelda]."

Mr Quigley told the court he had replied to Mr Quirke: "Do you not think Mary has enough to deal with?"

Mr Quirke then told him that he only wanted "friends and family, good friends" at his son's month's mind mass and if Mary went he would "personally remove her from the church himself."

"I said that was his choice, him and his wife. The conversation ended then," Mr Quigley said.

Under cross-examination by Bernard Condon SC, for the defence, he told the court he recalled a conversation with Mary Lowry's mother-in-law Rita Lowry at Fawnagowan, around Christmas 2010.

Rita had told him Jack, Mary's son, had told her his mother "came home late". Mr Quigley said he had mentioned this to Mary later but had advised her to "keep it to herself".

Mr Quigley was asked about evidence he gave yesterday in which he said that on the day of Mr Ryan's disappearance, he had gone to Fawnagowan and that Mary and Michelle Ryan, Bobby's daughter, were there.

Asked if he was sure about that because Mr Condon said he understood Michelle had remained in the woods until "well into the night", Mr Quigley said she had come up to Mary's house that evening "for a short period of time".

Mr Condon asked Mr Quigley if he had ever seen the tank where Bobby Ryan's body was found prior to 2013 and he replied he saw a trough but the ground was covered with top soil and mud and he didn't know a tank lay underneath.

Asked about phone calls between him and his sister Mary - one an eight-minute call on the evening before Bobby Ryan was recorded as being missing, at 9.05pm -Mr Quigley said he could not recall why she had phoned him but said he spoke to his sister on a regular basis.

Meanwhile Mr Condon asked about a remark Mr Quigley had told the court about earlier, which had been made during searches for Mr Ryan, on the Tuesday after his disappearance on June 3, 2011.

He said he had brought Mary to a psychic in Nenagh that Monday because "she wanted to see if that would help in any way."

The following day, he was in a car along with Jimmy Lowry, driven by Pat Quirke to go on the search when Mr Lowry made the comment: "This wouldn't happen if Martin Lowry was alive."

"I didn't like him saying it," Mr Quigley told the court.

Mr Condon put it to Mr Quigley he had said it had annoyed him and he got out of the car and slammed the door.

Mr Quigley agreed, saying: "I felt the blame was being put on Mary."

Asked about an incident where Mr Quirke talked about the deceased, Mr Quigley said Mr Quirke "hadn't good things to say about Bobby Ryan", adding: "Mr Quirke was trying to get across to me that Bobby Ryan was a DJ and the boys [Mary's sons] were being left alone." Mr Quirke told him Bobby Ryan was involved in music and out late at night and "would be a man for the women."

Mr Condon put it to him that he had said: "Mary will make up her own mind about what she wants to do and you and me won't change that", and Mr Quigley agreed he had.

Later Mr Bowman asked what Mr Quirke's demeanour had been during this exchange and Mr Quigley replied that he was "angry".

Under cross-examination, he agreed that when he had twice approached his sister and asked her if she was having an affair with Patrick Quirke she had denied it to him and had become "cross." Asked when she had told him, Mr Quigley said it was "a good while later".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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