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Courts

'Mr Moonlight’ trial witness remanded on bail after admitting careless driving causing man’s death

Mary Lowry pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving causing the death of 51-year-old Patrick Connolly.

A WOMAN WHO became well-known due to her evidence at the murder trial of Patrick Quirke, in what became known as the “Mr Moonlight Murder”, was today remanded on continuing bail after she pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing the death of a man.

Mary Lowry, late 50s, of Green Road, Dundrum, Co Tipperary, appeared before Clonmel Circuit Criminal Court today for sentencing, which was adjourned to 21 March.

The mother of three has pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving causing the death of Patrick Connolly, 51, of Skehennarinky, southwest Tipperary, on 28 December, 2021.

Mr Connolly was participating in a charity motorbike outing at the time of the fatal collision.

At a previous court hearing, Ms Lowry admitted that “on the 28 December 2021 at the N24, Spring House, Bansha, Co Tipperary” she drove a vehicle “without due care and attention, thereby causing the death of Patrick Connolly”.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, and/or a fine not exceeding €10,000.

The case was initially brought before Thurles District Court on 16 November, 2022.

Mr Connolly, who had been riding a motorbike with his son as a pillion passenger when the crash happened, died from injuries in hospital a number of days after the collision.

Today Ms Lowry, who was the 63rd case listed before Judge Catherine Staines, sat quietly in the public gallery at Clonmel Circuit Court waiting for her case to be called.

Judge Staines granted an application by barrister, Pádraig de Búrca BL, acting for Ms Lowry, to adjourn sentencing to 21 March, which was consented by State prosecution counsel, David Humphries BL.

Following today’s brief hearing, Ms Lowry left the court accompanied by a blonde-haired woman.

Both women linked arms and wore hoods up around their faces in an effort to hide their faces from photojournalists.

A member of the public guided Ms Lowry and the other woman into a Paddy Power bookmaker in the town in an effort to shield them from photojournalists and reporters.

Ms Lowry did not speak in court when her case was called, and she declined to speak to reporters afterwards outside the court.

Ms Lowry became well-known when her evidence at the murder trial of killer Patrick Quirke was key to the prosecution case against him.

Ms Lowry’s boyfriend Bobby Ryan, a popular DJ known as “Mr Moonlight”, went missing on 3 June, 2011 after leaving Ms Lowry’s home in Fawnagown, Tipperary at 6.30am.

His body was found on 30 April, 2013, in an underground septic tank on Ms Lowry’s farm which was being leased by Quirke.

The prosecution claimed Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry. 

The murder trial, held at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin, heard CCTV footage on the farm captured Quirke walking around Ms Lowry’s yard and near her clothes line on 3 December, 2012.

Ms Lowry decided to terminate Quirke’s lease on her land on 29 April, 2013.

The following day, gardaí arrived at her property and told her they had discovered what was later confirmed to be Mr Ryan’s body in a run off tank on her land.

During his interviews with gardaí after his arrest, Quirke told detectives he had never threatened Mr Ryan and he denied killing him.

“There’s somebody out there who did do it and he is laughing at the moment because you are looking at me,” Quirke told Gardaí.

The jury did not believe Quirke and convicted him of his love rival’s murder.

He is serving a mandatory life sentence in prison having lost an appeal against the verdict.

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