09 Aug 2022

Tipperary murder trial: Garda thought DJ could have been left in tank to die

Tipperary murder trial: Garda thought DJ could have been left in tank to die

When a garda superintendent looked into the tank where Bobby Ryan's body lay he thought the part-time DJ had either been murdered and put in the tank or assaulted and left there to die, a jury has heard. 

Superintendent Patrick O'Callaghan told the Central Criminal Court this morning, Monday 18, that as soon as he saw the outline of the body in the tank he believed it was Mr Ryan. 

Patrick Quirke, a 50-year-old farmer from Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Ryan - a part-time DJ going by the name Mr Moonlight - on a date between June 3, 2011 and April 2013.

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

Superintendent O'Callaghan told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman SC that he visited the farm at Fawnagowan on April 30, 2013 after reports that a body had been found in a tank on Ms Lowry's land.

He went to the tank and from a standing position he couldn't see anything so he knelt down and lowered his head into the tank. He could see the outline of a body and using a torch he he was able to see it more clearly.

He told Mr Bowman that he believed the person in the tank to be Bobby Ryan and that he had been murdered and placed in the tank or placed in the tank following a serious assault and died as a result.

Superintendent O'Callaghan told his colleagues to designate the area a crime scene.Garda Conor Ryan also completed his cross examination telling defence counsel Bernard Condon SC that he was not seeking "extra glory" for himself when he made a fresh statement relating to the the trial last week.

Mr Condon asked the witness why he did not previously say that when he searched the lands at Fawnagowan in 2011 he saw bales of hay at the tank where Mr Ryan's body was eventually found.

Garda Ryan said it hadn't crossed his mind previously but it was brought to his attention by one of his colleagues during a conversation in the coffee shop of the court building last week.

When Mr Condon asked him if it was "highly inappropriate" to be discussing evidence ahead of trial he said he wasn't discussing his evidence. Mr Condon asked if he was "looking for a bit of extra glory" or for recognition. The witness replied: "no."

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

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