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Farmer discovered body of murdered man in slurry tank

THIS is the man who found the body of murdered Bobby Ryan (52) in a slurry tank.

Pat Quirke – a well-known dairy farmer in the town of Tipperary – alerted gardai after he found the human remains on land he had leased.

The slurry tank lay unused for up to five years, it has emerged.

Mr Quirke reported the discovery to gardai on Tuesday afternoon. He declined to comment on the incident when contacted by the Herald.

A painstaking search has continued for three days at Mary Lowry's farm in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary, since gardai were alerted.

Mr Quirke, who is regarded as one of the region's top dairy farmers, had leased land from Ms Lowry after her husband, Martin, died in 2007 and kept cattle at the holding. Mary Lowry (46) began a relationship with Mr Ryan (52) – a separated father – towards the end of 2008.

On June 3, 2011, Mr Ryan, from Cashel, was reported missing after he left the Fawnagown farm and failed to turn up for work at Killough quarry near Thurles. He was last seen at the farmhouse in Fawnagown.

Widespread searches failed to locate Mr Ryan's body until Mr Quirke found it this week less than 100 yards from the farmhouse that the part-time DJ left on the morning he disappeared.

The farm on the Tipperary-Bansha road has been closed off for three days as gardai continue to empty and search the slurry tank.

The family of Mr Ryan are still waiting for his remains to be released to them following a post-mortem examination.

DNA testing, to formally identify the remains as those of Mr Ryan's, continued yesterday.

His family, including his grown-up children Michelle and Robert, have stated that it was always their wish to give Bobby a decent burial.

A Tipperary man, who was obsessed with Mary Lowry, is a focus of the ongoing garda investigation. Another aspect of the garda investigation is burglaries to Mary Lowry's property over the last year.