Tuesday 20 August 2019

Search team were told 'not to go near the farm'

Garda forensic officers examining the run-off tank where the body of Bobby Ryan was discovered at the farm in Fawnagowan, outside Tipperary, owned by Mary Lowry.
Garda forensic officers examining the run-off tank where the body of Bobby Ryan was discovered at the farm in Fawnagowan, outside Tipperary, owned by Mary Lowry.
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A retired police officer involved in the search for murder victim Bobby Ryan has said she found it "shocking" that gardaí involved in the search did not take notes.

Catherine Costello, of the organisation Searching for the Missing, said some criticism of the Garda missing person investigation was justified.

She claimed that Abbeyfeale Search and Rescue was told by gardaí in 2011 "not to go near the farm at Fawnagown because it had already been searched".

"I'm not saying that they'd have found him, that he was right under everybody's nose," said Ms Costello, but added that it should have been allowed to search the place.

However, she praised the "persistence" of gardaí in the murder probe, with "a couple of detectives there determined to get it over the line".

"I suppose the result speaks for itself because there were some outstanding pieces of police work done as well," she added.

Ms Costello, who now lives in Croom, Co Limerick, is a co-founder of the Searching for the Missing group.

She was asked by Mr Ryan's daughter Michelle to help in the search and went to Bansha, Co Tipperary, where she met with her and Mary Lowry.

She subsequently took a call from Ms Lowry asking to meet and said she was "very different" in that second encounter.

"At the second meeting she was distraught, she was absolutely roaring crying, I did my level best to calm her," said Ms Costello.

She told her about her former relationship with Patrick Quirke, which Ms Costello described as "catastrophic on a social level, she had young children, the eldest only 12".

Ms Costello said she was concerned for Ms Lowry and noted that "she kept praying to her late husband for guidance".

Irish Independent

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