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'Tittle tattle' was used as evidence to convict Patrick Quirke of murdering Bobby Ryan, court hears

Quirke was sentenced to life in prison last year for the murder of Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan.

File photo. Patrick Quirke.
File photo. Patrick Quirke.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Updated Oct 13th 2020, 1:36 PM

THE APPEAL BY Patrick Quirke against his conviction for the murder of Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan began today in the Court of Appeal.

“Tittle tattle” about “who looked crooked at who” at birthday and confirmation parties was used as evidence to convict Quirke, a barrister told the court today.

Bernard Condon SC began making submissions to the three-judge court, saying there are 52 grounds of appeal and the hearing will take four days. Outlining the grounds he said his client did not receive a fair trial and was convicted by circumstantial evidence, some of which should not have been heard by the jury.

He said evidence was introduced that wasn’t properly proved and he complained that prejudicial comments by gardaí during interviews with Quirke should not have been heard by the jury.

In particular he complained of a comment by interviewing gardai that Quirke had “cash on demand and sex on demand” from Mary Lowry. It emerged during the trial that Lowry was in a relationship with Ryan when he died and had previously had an affair with Quirke following the death of Lowry’s husband Martin in 2007.

The prosecution argued that Quirke murdered Ryan so he could rekindle his affair with Lowry.

Condon said that the circumstantial case relied on blocks of evidence that supported one another and if one of those blocks is removed, “there is a serious question over the overall verdict”.

During the trial there was evidence of words exchanged between Lowry and Quirke at Lowry family confirmation and birthday parties. Condon said the trial judge had allowed “tittle tattle” about “who looked crooked at who” at the get-togethers.

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Ryan, a popular DJ and father-of-two, disappeared on 3 June 2011 after he left Lowry’s home early in the morning. His badly decomposed body was discovered in a disused, underground tank on farmland at Fawnagowan, Tipperary, on 30 April 2013.

The land at Fawnagowan was owned by Lowry and leased by Quirke who used it for grazing cattle. Quirke was convicted by a 10-to-two majority verdict of Ryan’s murder last year.

The appeal hearing continues this afternoon in front of Mr Justice George Birmingham (presiding) and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy.

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