Children of Tipperary DJ murdered by Patrick Quirke are suing his killer

Farmer was convicted of murder of Bobby Ryan following high profile trial

 Robert Ryan, son of Bobby Ryan, and Michelle Ryan, daughter of Bobby Ryan, leaving court   after they gave evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke. Photograph: Collins Courts

Robert Ryan, son of Bobby Ryan, and Michelle Ryan, daughter of Bobby Ryan, leaving court after they gave evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

The children of murdered Tipperary disc jockey, Bobby Ryan, are suing their father’s killer in a High Court action.

A solicitor acting for Robert Ryan Junior and his sister, Michelle, has initiated three sets of proceedings against Patrick Quirke, the Co Tipperary farmer who was convicted of their father’s murder in May following a high profile trial which was the longest murder case in Irish legal history.

Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary who was convicted of the murder of 52-year-old Bobby Ryan. Photograph: Collins Courts
Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary who was convicted of the murder of 52-year-old Bobby Ryan. Photograph: Collins Courts

The exact nature of the claims being made by the victim’s two children is unknown as papers still have to be lodged in the High Court.

Two of the plenary cases are listed in the name of Robert Ryan and one in the name of Michelle Ryan.

It is likely the claims will seek damages for the suffering experienced by Mr Ryan’s children as a result of their father’s murder by Quirke.

The family’s solicitor, Donal Ryan from Cashel, Co Tipperary, declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday.

In an emotional victim impact statement at the conclusion of the trial, Michelle Ryan said her family’s lives had been “torn apart” after their father went missing eight years ago.

She spoke of the “mental anguish” in wondering every day if her father had been calling out for help.

“Knowing how his life was taken and where he was found, rips us apart every day. We are completely destroyed beyond repair because of the trauma of how our father was brutally taken away from us,” she said.

Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary was found guilty of Mr Ryan’s murder by a 10-2 majority verdict at the Central Criminal Court on May 1 after a trial lasting 15 weeks.

The case against the farmer, who had denied any role in the murder of the popular part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight, was based largely on circumstantial evidence.

Bobby Ryan (52) of Boherlahan, near Cashel in south Tipperary, whose remains were found in April 2013.
Bobby Ryan (52) of Boherlahan, near Cashel in south Tipperary, whose remains were found in April 2013.

Mr Ryan (52), a quarry worker, had disappeared on the morning of June 3, 2011 after spending the previous night at the home of his girlfriend, Mary Lowry, in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary.

Bobby Ryan had disappeared on the morning of June 3, 2011 after spending the previous night at the home of his girlfriend, Mary Lowry (above), in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Collins Courts
Bobby Ryan had disappeared on the morning of June 3, 2011 after spending the previous night at the home of his girlfriend, Mary Lowry (above), in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Collins Courts

Staged

State prosecutors claimed that Quirke had killed Mr Ryan, whom he regarded as a love rival, in order to rekindle his affair with Ms Lowry - a sister-in-law of his wife, Imelda.

Mr Ryan’s body was discovered in April 2013 in an underground tank on Ms Lowry’s farm which had been leased by Quirke.

It was claimed that the farmer staged the finding of the body as his lease on the property was due to be terminated which increased the likelihood of Mr Ryan’s corpse being uncovered.

Lawyers for Quirke have already filed an appeal against his conviction with the Court of Appeal.

Although papers outlining the basis of the appeal have yet to be lodged, it is believed they will focus on a number of rulings made by the trial judge, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon, in the absence of the jury.

Quirke resigned as a director of his company, Breansha Farms, on May 23 - three weeks after his murder conviction - and was replaced by his son, Liam. He also resigned as secretary of the firm which was first established in 2014 to run his farming business.

The company’s other director is Imelda Quirke.

Quirke owns 51 per cent of the company’s shares with the remainder held by his wife.

The company’s latest accounts show it had total net assets of €414,576 at the end of last year including €239,767 in “cash at bank and in hand”.

The documents show that Breansha Farms owed €176,156 to its directors.

The company employs a total of three people including its two directors, paying them wages and salaries totalling €50,492 in 2018.

The cases filed by Mr Ryan’s children are against Quirke in a personal capacity.