Patrick Quirke asked how Bobby Ryan died when gardaí visited farm

Murder accused is alleged to have killed part-time DJ in order to rekindle affair

Patrick Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, is pictured with his wife Imelda. He  has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge  at the Central Criminal Court Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Patrick Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, is pictured with his wife Imelda. He has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge at the Central Criminal Court Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

Gardaí seized computers and documents from murder accused Patrick Quirke’s property less than three weeks after Bobby Ryan’s body was discovered, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Det Sgt John Keane said that when gardaí arrived, the accused asked him what they were looking for and he handed him a copy of the warrant.

After Mr Quirke read it Det Sgt Keane noted that the accused said to him that the media were wrong when they said Mr Ryan’s clothes and wallet were found in the tank with the body.

Det Sgt Keane also noted that Mr Quirke asked him how Mr Ryan died. The garda told Mr Quirke he could not tell him.

Mr Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Ryan, a part-time DJ known as ‘Mr Moonlight’. He went missing on June 3rd, 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am.

His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Co Tipperary in April 2013. The prosecution claims that Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (52).

Det Sgt Keane told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman SC that he obtained a warrant to search Mr Quirke’s home and land from Tipperary District Court on May 13th, 2013 and executed it on May 17th. The search began at 9.30am and gardai left at 4.45pm. The witness was in charge of searching the house and another team searched the lands.

Attention

During the search, Det Sgt Keane’s team’s attention was brought to items in another house in the farm yard. He said Mr Quirke also gave gardaí permission to search lands he had more recently started renting on a neighbouring farm.

During the search gardaí seized a computer, electronic devices, documents, green overalls, a red portfolio and other items of that nature, the witness said. They also took possession of a Ford pick-up truck and a trailer.

Det Sgt Keane agreed with defence counsel Bernard Condon SC that the accused made his comment about the media being wrong in relation to what was found in the tank after reading the warrant, which stated that gardaí were looking for those items. It also stated that gardaí were looking for the weapon used to murder Mr Ryan.

The jury earlier heard from Patrick O’Donnell, who told David Humphries BL, for the prosecution, that he worked as a contractor baling silage and spreading slurry on Mr Quirke’s lands.

He said that in or around March 2013 Mr Quirke asked him for a loan of a tractor and agitator, a device used to stir slurry so that it can be sucked into a tanker and spread on the fields. He said this would be a normal request and as neighbours, people would often lend things to each other.

Diary

Mr O’Donnell’s diary from 2011 showed that he cut silage at Fawnagowan on May 27th and 31st. On June 2nd, a day before Mr Ryan went missing, he was cutting grass and baling at Fawnagowan and Breanshamore. The following day he had no involvement with Mr Quirke and on June 5th he baled the grass he had cut two days earlier. From April 27th to May 6th, 2013 he did no work at Mr Quirke’s farm.

Seamus Buckley told Mr Bowman that he sells farm machinery and met Mr Quirke at a sales show in Wexford in 2012. He sold a tractor to Mr Quirke, which was delivered the week before Christmas that year. Mr Quirke later agreed to buy a 2,000 gallon tanker from him, which was picked up by one of his workers on the Friday before Mr Ryan’s body was found.

The witness agreed with Mr Condon that it is common sense that farmers upgrade their machinery. “It is not unusual at all,” he agreed.

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