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19 Aug 2022

Tipperary murder trial: Witness felt people were saying she was responsible for missing person

Patrick Quirke

Patrick Quirke

A murder trial witness whose boyfriend went missing after leaving her house has said she felt as though people were saying she had something to do with his disappearance.

Mary Lowry (52) also denied becoming intimate with the accused following the disappearance and said she couldn't remember staying with him in a "plush" hotel three months after she last saw her boyfriend.

Ms Lowry has finished giving evidence after four days in the stand at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary.

Mr Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 52-year-old Bobby Ryan - a DJ known as Mr Moonlight - on a date between June 3, 2011 and April 2013. Mr Ryan went missing in June 2011 and his body was found in a run-off tank on a farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary in April 2013.

Ms Lowry on Friday told defence counsel Bernard Condon SC that she went to gardai in June 2012 to complain about Bobby Ryan missing person posters that Mr Ryan's family put up around her home.

She said that she had no problem with posters but that these appeared around her home and nowhere else. She said she found them intimidating and they were upsetting for her children who were fond of Bobby Ryan. 

The witness added: "It was like they were trying to say I had something to do with this man who was missing."  

She said she wanted to find Mr Ryan "as much as anybody else" and had herself put up posters in other areas.

Ms Lowry has also confirmed to Mr Condon that she spent a night in a hotel in Killiney, south Dublin with the accused following Mr Ryan's disappearance.

She said she felt pressured by Mr Quirke, was "a bit scared" during the stay and didn't want to be there. She said she got drunk and nothing happened.

"We did not rekindle our affair," she said.

She could not remember staying at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Waterford with Mr Quirke in September 2011 and could not say if she had ever been there.

Mr Condon suggested to her that she would remember staying at such a "plush hotel with a beautiful view overlooking the sea."

The witness repeated that she does not remember staying there.

When shown a print-out from her bank account showing a payment to the Cliff House dated September 8, 2011 she said she couldn't explain it and added that Mr Quirke had a key to her home and access to her computer.

Counsel further suggested that the witness was saying she couldn't remember staying at the Cliff House because she does not want to accept that she got back with Mr Quirke and was intimate with him following Mr Ryan's death.

She said this was, "totally ridiculous. I did no such thing".

Mr Condon also questioned her about a phone call she made to Mr Quirke while she was on a skiing holiday in Austria with her three sons in 2012.

She said that she made the call because Mr Quirke was "in my head" and she would "face his wrath" when she returned if she did not call while she was away.

She again denied being intimate with Mr Quirke and said she thought about the missing Bobby Ryan every day during that time.

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

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