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Cracking the case: How detectives solved the murder of Mr Moonlight

Retired detective Philip Ryan explains how gardaí built a circumstantial case against the Tipperary farmer

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Retired NBCI detective Phil Ryan. Photo: Mark Condren

Retired NBCI detective Phil Ryan. Photo: Mark Condren

Pat Quirke

Pat Quirke

Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan

Bobby Ryan, aka Mr Moonlight

Bobby Ryan, aka Mr Moonlight

A garda forensic team examines the scene at the farm at Fawnagowan, Tipperary, where the body of Bobby Ryan was discovered in a slurry pit. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

A garda forensic team examines the scene at the farm at Fawnagowan, Tipperary, where the body of Bobby Ryan was discovered in a slurry pit. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Pat Quirke outside court in 2019 with his wife, Imelda. Photo: Collins Courts

Pat Quirke outside court in 2019 with his wife, Imelda. Photo: Collins Courts

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Retired NBCI detective Phil Ryan. Photo: Mark Condren

The man who found the body in the underground tank on Mary Lowry’s farm at first appeared most helpful. Pat Quirke had no problem accompanying detectives to Tipperary garda station to be interviewed under caution.

In a recorded interview, he told them how that morning he was drawing water from a tank he had not used in five years, intending to agitate and dilute hardened, caked slurry or effluent so he could spread it on the land.


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