Tuesday 18 June 2019

Tipperary 'love rival' trial: Quirke rejected suggestion he staged discovery of body

Patrick Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan. Photo: Collins Courts
Patrick Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan. Photo: Collins Courts
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Gardaí asked Pat Quirke about searches for human decomposition carried out on his computer and he told them: "My son had recently died. That's all I'm saying."

However, they put it to him that since his 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.

In murder arrest interviews taken on June 20 2014, gardaí put it to him that he was trying to establish the condition of the remains of Bobby Ryan and that the search was not in relation to his son, who died in a tragic farming accident.

Patrick 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 on a date between June 3 2011 and April 2013.

Gardaí put it to Mr Quirke during the interview that he had visited a number of websites, including suite101.com, specifically an article concerning how a human body decomposes after death. He was asked if he recalled it. He also visited another website, forensics4fiction.com, which dealt with 'the five stages of decomposition.'

Another search was for human body decomposition timeline. Gardaí urged Mr Quirke "for the sake of the two boys and Imelda" to be fair to them and if there was anything he wanted to tell the gardaí.

Mary Lowry. Photo: Collins
Mary Lowry. Photo: Collins

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

A garda sympathised with him at that point and he thanked them. The garda then said: "I mean that in a very genuine manner... I can't imagine what it's like to go through that", adding that his last number of years must have been "torturous".

Mr Quirke then went on to say that "you guys don't believe a word I say anyway," claiming that he had been charged with assaulting Mary Lowry but that it "never happened." It had never been investigated properly, he said.

The gardaí again asked him for an explanation for some of these websites, asking him why he had conducted a search for 'DNA evidence and its limitations.'

Patrick Quirke pictured leaving court with his wife, Imelda. Picture: Collins
Patrick Quirke pictured leaving court with his wife, Imelda. Picture: Collins

Mr Quirke replied: "I don't recall."

"We can't believe to understand what was going through your mind at those times," the gardaí told him, adding that these items have been viewed over 'a long time' and put it to him that he was not looking at it for the reasons he had said but because of 'the body Bobby Ryan and what condition he would be in'.

Mr Quirke asked them why he would need to do that.

"Why would I need to know what condition the body would be in?" he said.

Gardaí put it to him that he knew where Bobby Ryan's body was and was trying to establish what condition the body 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, going on to say that they were saying 'doesn'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 gong to be leasing it.

Mr Quirke told them that the article said that the remains would be skeletalised after two years but that the body he saw on April 30 "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 for whatever reason, he had 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 into my life?" he said.

They put it to him that he had staged the discovery of the body but he rejected that.

"You thought if I discovered the body I'm removing suspicions from myself," he said adding: "Would I not have thought of the nightmare that would unfold?", saying that he relationship with Mary Lowry would all come out in the open.

Gardaí suggested to him that it was already out in the open.

Mr Quirke later again asked why he would bring it all on himself and gardaí suggested that 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 that 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 that 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?".

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