Wednesday 24 July 2019

'What the Guards will know' - officer gives evidence on note found at Patrick Quirke home

Indentations on paper found in Quirke's office read 'dispose of clothes\phone\other evidence', court hears

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

INDENTATIONS on a sheet of paper found in Patrick Quirke's office found he had previously written 'what the Guards will know' and 'dispose of clothes\phone\other evidence’ on another sheet of paper.

Detective Garda Jermiah Moloney from the Document and Handwriting section of the Technical Bureau told the murder trial that he used a specialised machine to capture notes written on other pages by Mr Quirke, the evidence of which was found on an A4 sheet of paper on which was written a series of visible questions that were heard by the jury today.

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.

He explained that the machine was an electrostatic detection apparatus that can detect, or cause to be detected, indentations on a sheet of paper.

Michael Bowman SC for the Prosecution asked if it rendered visible to the naked eye what would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye and the garda said that in some cases the indentations are visible but in the main the indentations are not visible.

Det Gda Moloney explained to the court that he could not decipher all the words in each line and so left a blank where he could not make the word out.

On the front on the page found in Mr Quirke's office, he said he found the indentations: "Gary ( ) empty tank two loads," as well as "agitate need water."

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

Line 9 on that page read get load of ( ) following."

Amongst the indentations on the back of the page was found: 'What the guards will know,' 'murdered poss in house' and the word 'dispose' and 'Mary.'

Line 16 read "dispose of clothes\phone\any other evidence," said Dt gda Moloney.

Between lines 20 and 21 were the words "phone pinged."

Line 25 read: "Mary had to see\be with him."

Line 29 read: "Mary-needle in haystack."

Line 33 read: "very strange re token search for photos."

Line 36 read: "Did not act on leads ie travelling - salesman."

Line 37 read: "bobby stayed in yard ie 2 mins\10 mins."

Michael Bowman SC for the Prosecution put it to him that it appeared more words could be observed but that he was not confident enough to transcribe them and Det Gda Moloney agreed, saying: "Anything I couldn't interpret or read I didn't transfer into handwritten form."

Words might be less legible because the pressure on the page might not be so high, he agreed.

Under cross questioning, by Lorcan Staines SC for the defence, he agreed that there were much more indentations on the page. Mr Staines put it to him that there was "at some point so much cross writing you can't make out anything" and he agreed.

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