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Leah Farrell/
Mr Moonlight

Supreme Court gives Patrick Quirke permission to appeal conviction against 'Mr Moonlight' murder

The Tipperary farmer was convicted of the murder in 2019.

THE SUPREME COURT has given Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke permission to appeal his conviction for the murder of Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan.

The court determined today that two matters of general public importance are contained within his appeal, specifically around the validity of search warrants and the use of expert witnesses.

The 52-year-old, of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary is serving a life sentence having been convicted in 2019 of the murder of popular DJ and father-of-two Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan (52) at Fawnagowan in Tipperary.

His appeal was initially dismissed by the Court of Appeal last year, when the court said it was not persuaded by any of the arguments made on Quirke’s behalf.

Quirke’s lawyers had laid out about 50 grounds of appeal, arguing that he did not receive a fair trial due to the admission during the trial of prejudicial evidence, “tittle tattle” and tabloid-style Garda commentaries.

They also argued that a warrant used by gardaí to search Quirke’s home was flawed, that the judge was not given relevant information and that evidence seized from his home should not have been shown to the jury.

Bobby Ryan disappeared on 3 June, 2011 after he left his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at Fawnagowan early in the morning.

His badly decomposed body was discovered in a disused, underground tank almost two years later on 30 April 2013 on farmland owned by Lowry and leased by Quirke. 

Lowry had previously had an affair with Quirke and the prosecution said that Quirke murdered Bobby Ryan so he could rekindle their affair and because he was financially dependent on Lowry.

Quirke denied any involvement in Ryan’s murder.

When it finished, his trial was the longest murder trial in Ireland’s history, at 71 days.

Contains reporting by Eoin Reynolds.