Wednesday 17 July 2019

She said she was 'mad about' Bobby Ryan, that she loved him 'to bits'

Pat Quirke. Photo: Collins
Pat Quirke. Photo: Collins
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

The accused: Patrick Quirke

Patrick Quirke (50) is accused of the murder of Bobby Ryan on a date unknown between June 3, 2011, and April 30, 2013 - a charge he denies.

The farmer, who is married to Imelda Quirke and has three sons, was involved in an affair with Mary Lowry, his wife's sister-in-law and the widow of his late best friend, Martin Lowry.

Mr Quirke was in a relationship with Ms Lowry between 2008 and 2010, until it was ended by the widow.

Ms Lowry then began a relationship with Mr Ryan, which the prosecution alleges was the catalyst for the murder.

The prosecution has alleged Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan, hiding his body in a run-off tank on Ms Lowry's farm, so he could rekindle his affair with Ms Lowry.

The trial has also heard that Mr Quirke had leased more than 60 acres of land from Ms Lowry.

But he was asked to vacate the land in 2013.

On April 13 of that year, Mr Quirke said that he was trying to get water from the run-off tank when he came across the body of Mr Ryan on the farm at Fawnagown, Co Tipperary.

The deceased: Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan (52), who was separated from his wife Mary Ryan, had two children, Robert and Michelle.

A part-time DJ known as 'Mr Moonlight', Mr Ryan was reported missing on June 3, 2011, after he failed to turn up for work. He had been in a relationship with Mary Lowry, and spent the night with her on June 2. Ms Lowry said he left her home on the morning of June 3.

Michelle Ryan reported her father missing on June 3 after he failed to show up for work at a local quarry.

His silver van was later found at a local beauty spot. His daughter became concerned when she realised it was parked in fourth gear, and was not locked despite having her father's DJ equipment inside.

His relationship with Ms Lowry was described as "conventional" in court and Ms Lowry said Bobby Ryan made her, and her children, happy.

The relationship began after he helped her secure tickets for that year's All-Ireland hurling final.

Mr Ryan also helped Ms Lowry when she encountered difficulties with Patrick Quirke, meeting the accused in Hayes's Hotel, Thurles. They spoke for an hour before shaking hands, the trial heard.

Mr Ryan's body was recovered from a run-off tank in April 2013. He died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The first witness:  Mary Lowry

Mary Lowry (52), a widow and mother-of-three, is at the centre of the 'love rival' murder trial and was in a relationship with the deceased and the accused at different intervals.

She began a physical relationship with Patrick Quirke, her sister-in-law's husband, following the death of her husband Martin.

When this ended she entered into a relationship with Bobby Ryan, until his disappearance on June 3, 2011. In her evidence to the jury during the week, she described the accused as "intimidating" and "overpowering", and described their relationship as a "seedy affair".

Ms Lowry also told the trial that Mr Quirke stole her underwear from her clothes line, and had been captured on CCTV camera walking around her property and looking through her windows.

When she was asked about her relationship with Mr Ryan, she said she was "mad about him", that she loved him "to bits". He had left her house on the morning of his disappearance.

Irish Independent

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