Sunday 15 September 2019

'Mr Moonlight' movie: Family of murdered DJ in talks with director Jim Sheridan

Jim Sheridan has compared the case to ‘The Field’. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Jim Sheridan has compared the case to ‘The Field’. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

The family of murdered quarry driver and part-time DJ Bobby Ryan (52) have expressed an interest in making a documentary with Jim Sheridan.

The Oscar-nominated director has confirmed that he has contacted the relatives of Mr Ryan, who was known for his DJ work as 'Mr Moonlight', to help them tell their side of the story.

The Dublin film maker was in court on several occasions during the 15-week-long murder trial of Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke, the longest- running in the history of the State, after the story caught his imagination.

"I suppose we're just trying to figure it all out at this point," the director told the Irish Independent.

"I've been in touch with the Ryan family and they are very keen to do some kind of project. They are totally in favour of it, but it's still early days," he said.

Mr Sheridan, who is currently in LA, added that he would be in touch with the family again over the coming week to firm up more details.

Murder: Bobby Ryan, known as ‘Mr Moonlight’, was killed by his love rival Patrick Quirke, who was motivated by greed and
jealousy
Murder: Bobby Ryan, known as ‘Mr Moonlight’, was killed by his love rival Patrick Quirke, who was motivated by greed and jealousy

The director, who made award-winning film 'My Left Foot', has compared the killing of Mr Ryan to the John B Keane play 'The Field', saying that it's "very like it".

Mr Sheridan directed a 1990 film version of the play, starring Richard Harris and John Hurt.

It is understood that the family of Mr Ryan are also considering writing a book and telling their side of the story in full, given the huge public interest in the trial.

Last May saw dairy farmer Quirke (50) handed down a life sentence for murdering his love rival Mr Ryan.

The victim's bereaved children, Michelle and Robert, have been very vocal about their difficulties in dealing with the circumstances surrounding the murder.

They have previously spoken in a Virgin Media documentary about how, eight years on from his death, they are still struggling to come to terms with their grief.

Their father went missing after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry's home on June 3, 2011.

His body was found two years later in an underground overflow pit on Ms Lowry's farm.

Mr Ryan was murdered and dumped in the pit on the Fawnagowan farm, which was being leased by Quirke from Ms Lowry.

The Ryan siblings have also said they will never return to their homes in Tipperary.

They both left their native county in the wake of their father's disappearance because the pain and suffering "just got too hard".

The Central Criminal Court jury convicted Quirke on May 1 last on a 10-2 majority verdict after finding he killed the father of two in a fit of jealousy and greed.

Quirke had been having an affair with Ms Lowry - who was the widow of his wife's brother - but was envious of her budding relationship with Mr Ryan.

He was said to be hurt that she had ended their liaison, which she described as "seedy".

He was also worried about losing control of the Lowry farm.

The prosecution alleged he was motivated by "love and money" to kill Mr Ryan.

Irish Independent

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