Monday 14 October 2019

Quirke denies he used Mary Lowry and was getting 'cash and sex on demand'

Murder accused told gardaí in interviews that 'the gain was a two-way street'

Trial: Patrick Quirke with wife Imelda outside court. Photo: Collins
Trial: Patrick Quirke with wife Imelda outside court. Photo: Collins
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Patrick Quirke denied "using Mary Lowry in every way", telling gardaí that the "that gain was a two-way street".

He also rejected a suggestion that he was getting "cash on demand and sex on demand" from Ms Lowry, describing it as "a downright lie".

Mr Quirke admitted he had reported Ms Lowry to the social services, claiming his mother-in-law had expressed concerns about Ms Lowry leaving her children on their own at night.

Put to him by gardaí that having been in love with her, it might have been "more appropriate to talk to her rather than bring a government department down on top of her", Mr Quirke replied: "This was the last straw and she needed to get a babysitter."

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.

Gardaí put it to Mr Quirke that he had been paying just €1,600 a year for the lease of Ms Lowry's 60-acre farm at Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary, given that the lease was €12,600 and he benefited from a single farm payment of €11,000 per annum.

Mr Quirke accepted this, saying: "If you want to use those figures, yes."

He agreed this arrangement was "beneficial" to him and gardaí informed him this formed part of the allegation against him, putting it to him that he had not suffered any financial risk and had "used Mary in every way".

Mr Quirke replied: "That gain was a two-way street."

It was suggested to him that "when things turned sour, you turned sour", but Mr Quirke said he had not.

"You had her in the palm of your hand," gardaí said then, but Mr Quirke said he did not accept that.

Detective Garda David Buckley told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman SC that he arrested Mr Quirke on January 20, 2014, on suspicion of harassment of Ms Lowry.

Mr Quirke outlined to gardaí how, after the death of Ms Lowry's husband Martin, he had taken some of her cows into his own herd.

One of these turned out to have bovine venereal disease - described by Mr Quirke as "the bovine equivalent of Aids" - which he claimed infected 12 of his own animals.

He said Ms Lowry was "anxious" to compensate him but he did not want to give her a figure, claiming: "I did not want to be seen as extorting money off her."

Asked whether he had persisted with his request for compensation, he said he had not but admitted asking her for the money "once a month".

Mr Quirke, in Garda interviews, denied the discussion with Ms Lowry over compensation had become heated or that he had used both hands to push Ms Lowry, causing her to fall over in her kitchen, adding: "Absolutely not. I never raised a hand to her or anyone else."

He told how Ms Lowry had given him €80,000 to invest in Contracts for Difference (CFDs) - a form of derivative trading - with an agreement to split any profits equally.

They made €40,000 each over a period of about 18 months, he said.

Gardaí suggested to him that this was a "win-win" situation for him. Mr Quirke said he managed the investment and when gardaí suggested this was "another example" of Mr Quirke having control over a "vulnerable woman", he replied: "I don't accept that."

He said he had worked hard on the investment, asking gardaí: "Would you go without pay for a year and a half?"

Asked about a provision in Ms Lowry's will for €100,000 to be left to Mr Quirke, he said he had discussed this with her, telling her that if something happened to her, whoever looked after her children would need a bigger car and to build an extension.

At one point, he needed to repay a bank loan and told Ms Lowry he would have to sell shares at a loss to make the payment.

He said Ms Lowry gave him €20,000 and told him she didn't need it back until her children started going to college.

They did not have an agreement on interest to be paid, he said.

Gardaí suggested to him he had demanded this money, but Mr Quirke replied that he did not demand it, and said if he was able to get €20,000 by demanding it, he would have asked for €200,000.

He rejected a garda's suggestion he had taken a €50,000 payment from Ms Lowry as a "downright lie", and challenged them to prove it.

He also rejected "taking Mary Lowry to the cleaners".

Mr Quirke was asked why he started an affair with Ms Lowry and he replied: "It's a good question that I have asked myself."

He said he was in love with Ms Lowry, though he was happy with his wife and remained intimate with her at that time.

With Ms Lowry he found "companionship, intimacy, trust and honesty", he said.

Put to him that she was vulnerable at this time, Mr Quirke told gardaí: "No, I believe she knew what she was doing."

He admitted he was "angry at being deceived" when he found out she was seeing Bobby Ryan. The relationship resumed after Mr Ryan went missing, but it "wasn't the same deep down", he said, adding: "I had a trust issue, she probably had a guilt issue."

In March 2012, the relationship ended abruptly after Ms Lowry met another man.

Asked whether he was hurt, Mr Quirke said: "I wasn't hurt because a leopard doesn't change its spots. I was more disgusted at being made a fool of twice."

Gardaí questioned him about CCTV footage in the yard at Fawnagowan the day before Mr Ryan's body was found and Mr Quirke claimed that Ms Lowry had "shouted obscenities at him" and told him to tell Mary Dillon to "watch her clothes line", agreeing with a suggestion that this was in reference to "an incident you had with Mary's knickers".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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