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Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 16 August 2022

Fingerprints in Bobby Ryan's van did not belong to accused, court hears

Ryan went missing in 2011 and his body was found 22 months later.

Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin last week.
Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin last week.
Image: Leah Farrell/

FINGERPRINTS ON ITEMS taken from Bobby Ryan’s van after he went missing did not match the accused man Patrick Quirke, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Detective Garda Fiona Maguire told prosecution counsel David Humphries BL she took prints from a black diary and a driving licence that were given to her in 2013.

Ryan went missing on the morning of 3 June 2011 and his van was discovered at a car park leading into Bansha Wood later that day.

In May 2013, after Ryan’s body had been discovered, Maguire tested the diary and licence. She found five marks on the diary and two palm marks on the licence.

Four of the prints on the diary belonged to the deceased’s daughter, Michelle, but she was not able to identify the other. None of the prints on either item matched Quirke so she ran them through a national database but again found no match.

The witness agreed with defence counsel Lorcan Staines SC that she was asked to give evidence in the trial last Thursday.

Detective Garda Ernie Fraser told Humphries that in 2012, when Ryan was still listed as a missing person, he took fingerprints from an aftershave bottle found in Ryan’s van and the driver’s door.

In January of this year he compared those prints to Quirke’s and found they did not match.

Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ryan, a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight.

Run-off tank 

Ryan went missing after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am on 3 June 2011. His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary, 22 months later in April 2013.

The prosecution claims Quirke murdered Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Lowry (52).

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The court also heard from Garda Fiona Conneely, who told Michael Bowman SC for the prosecution that she interviewed Lowry’s children in 2013. The court has previously heard that Lowry had an affair with the accused for about two years before starting a relationship with Ryan.

Conneely said she interviewed the children, aged nine, 11 and 15 at the time, with their mother’s permission at Lowry’s home in July 2013. She said Lowry thought she would be able to sit in on the interviews and was unhappy and upset when told this was not how it would be done.

The witness agreed with Staines that she told colleagues in 2013 Lowry was “angry” but said in hindsight she thinks this was the wrong word to use. She said Lowry was not shouting or roaring and did not express anger. She added that “angry” would not be a fair description of Lowry.

The trial continues in front of Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

About the author:

Eoin Reynolds & Alison O'Riordan

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