Monday 25 March 2019

'We are going to watch you til you crack' - text from unknown person sent to Mary Lowry after Bobby Ryan disappeared

  • Garda agrees that investigation of number from which text was sent was 'unsuccessful'
  • No messages that were 'relevant' recovered from Mary Lowry's Nokia phone in June 2011
Trial: Patrick Quirke with his wife Imelda arriving at court as the case continued. Photo: Mark Condren
Trial: Patrick Quirke with his wife Imelda arriving at court as the case continued. Photo: Mark Condren
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

GARDAI never discovered the identity of the person who sent a text message to Mary Lowry three months after the disappearance of Bobby Ryan.

It read: "u tink u r so col out partyn lik Bobby nevr existd. We no u hidn somethn nd wer gonta watch u till u crak"

Murder victim Bobby Ryan; his body was found in a slurry tank when it was drained in April 2013 at Mary Lowry’s farm.
Murder victim Bobby Ryan; his body was found in a slurry tank when it was drained in April 2013 at Mary Lowry’s farm.

Translated to correct English and spelling, it reads: "You think you are so cool out partying like Bobby never existed. We know you hiding something and we are going to watch you til you crack."

The text was sent in September 2011.

Garda Tony O'Brien who conducted a forensic examination of handsets in the investigation said he took possession of the mobile phones belonging to Mary Lowry, Pat Quirke, his wife Imelda and Michelle and Robert Ryan, the children of Bobby Ryan.

Pat Quirke's records showed that on the morning Bobby Ryan's body was retrieved from a run-off tank at Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary, he made a call to his wife Imelda lasting eight seconds at 12.33pm. He subsequently rang the local veterinary clinic, Glen Vet, in a call lasting 13 seconds, at 12.33.31.

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.

The data retrieved from Mary Lowry's phone showed she made at least six attempts to call Bobby on June 5, 2011, two days after his disappearance.

Mary Lowry. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Lowry. Photo: Tony Gavin

She made two attempts to call him in September 2011.

Robert Ryan's phone showed that on the morning of his father's disappearance, he sent him a text message saying "Da are you not working today?" This text was sent at 9.44am on June 3 2011.

Under cross examination, Garda O'Brien said no messages were recovered from Mary Lowry's Nokia phone that was taken in June 2011. He had gone through the handset and he said that if anything was relevant he would have transcribed that.

"Obviously I saw nothing I deemed relevant on June 6 2011," he said.

In September of that year, gardai again sought Ms Lowry's phone and this time it was a different Nokia device, with Garda O'Brien saying that 'perhaps' she had upgraded it.

That phone was downloaded on September 19 2011 and a text was retrieved from it. It was written phonetically and said: "You think you are so cool out partying like Bobby never existed. We know you hiding something and we are going to watch you til you crack."

Counsel for the Defence put it to Garda O'Brien that he had investigated the number from which it was sent and that this investigation was "unsuccessful" and he agreed.

Eddie Doocey BL asked if there was knowledge of this text amongst the investigation team and Garda O'Brien replied: "I believe so."

Asked if anyone had queried the lack of success in examining Ms Lowry's first phone and the garda said he did not recall.

Mr Doocey asked if there was any consultation with 'Phoenix Park or Harcourt Terrace' on how to advance it.

Garda O'Brien said: "I suppose at that stage it was a missing persons investigation and not a murder investigation."

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