The Co Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke, who was found guilty of the murder of truck driver and part-time DJ Bobby Ryan earlier this month, has lodged an appeal over his conviction.
Quirke, who was found guilty of the murder of his alleged love rival in a majority verdict on May 1st, lodged papers supporting his appeal on May 16th, a spokesman for the Courts Service confirmed.
The appeal will be heard by the criminal division of the Court of Appeal, where most cases come to hearing within about nine months of an appeal being lodged.
The appeal is likely to focus on decisions made by Ms Justice Eileen Creedon in response to legal arguments made during what was the longest murder trial in the history of the State.
These arguments in the Central Criminal Court occurred in the absence of the jury. Legal sources said the arguments and the rulings that were made are among the matters Quirke is likely to emphasise in his appeal.
Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, was given a life sentence for the murder of Mr Ryan, who used the name Mr Moonlight in his work as a DJ.
Mr Ryan went missing after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am on June 3rd, 2011. His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by Quirke at Fawnagown in Tipperary on April 30th 2013, some 22 months after he went missing.
The prosecution claimed Quirke had murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (52).
The defence said the prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and that Quirke should be acquitted.
Following weeks of evidence, the jury deliberated over the case for eight days, in total for more than 18 hours, before their verdict was announced.
The jury did not hear several pieces of evidence, including secret audio recordings of Quirke being “intimate” with his former girlfriend Ms Lowry, and evidence that his computer was used to look up articles on murderer Joe O’Reilly, who killed his wife.
The evidence was ruled inadmissible following representations from the defence team, held in the absence of the jury.
Quirke was sent to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin upon conviction but was moved last Sunday to Limerick Prison, prison sources have confirmed. It is standard procedure for prisoners to be moved to a location that best facilitates visits from family members.