17 Aug 2022

Tipperary Murder Trial: Patrick Quirke timeline of events

Tipperary Murder Trial: Patrick Quirke timeline of events

Tipperary's Patrick Quirke has been found guilty of the murder of Robert Ryan

Tipperary's Patrick Quirke has been found guilty of the murder of Robert Ryan by a ten to two majority jury verdict at the Central Criminal Court. 

A timeline of events that culminated in the verdict is detailed below. 

2007: Martin Lowry dies leaving Mary Lowry widowed with three young boys. Pat Quirke begins helping Mary Lowry with finances and running the farm. He takes over Martin's herd, sells what stock he can and starts using the farm for his own cattle.

January 2008: Quirke and Mary Lowry become physically intimate for the first time. Quirke takes up a seven-year lease on Lowry's 50+ acres at Fawnagowan.

August 2010: Lowry meets Bobby Ryan at a dance and they keep in touch. He helps her get tickets to the All-Ireland hurling final and they start seeing one another more regularly. Quirke finds out about Lowry's new relationship in late 2010 and they have a heated argument. He takes her phone and tells Bobby Ryan: "I'm the man."

Late 2010: Quirke meets Bobby Ryan at Hayes's Hotel to talk about the break-up of the relationship.

February 2011: Quirke sends a 'Dear Patricia' letter to the agony aunt in the Sunday Independent detailing the break-up of the affair with Lowry and how it has left him angry and broken-hearted.

February 4, 2011: Quirke reports Mary Lowry to Tusla alleging that she is neglecting her children due to her new relationship with Bobby Ryan.

June 2: Some time after 9pm Bobby Ryan calls to Mary Lowry's home. The last outgoing call from his phone is at 9pm to his son Robert.

June 3, 2011: Timeline of events
6am/6.20am: Mary Lowry says Bobby Ryan wakes up in her house at Fawnagowan. They make love before he dresses to go home and then work.
6.15am: Pat Quirke says he wakes to milk his cows at his own farm in Breanshamore.
6.30am: Mary Lowry says Bobby Ryan leaves her house.
8.10am: Michelle Lovelock sees a silver van in Kilshane woods as she sets off to walk her dogs. She returns from her walk at 8.50am: and the van is gone.
8.30am: Mary Lowry says she sees Pat Quirke in her driveway looking "hot and bothered".
9.15am: Pat Quirke says he leaves Fawnagowan
9.30am: Breda O’Dwyer says she meets Pat in the milking parlour of his own farm. This is "not normal" she says, milking would normally be finished at this time.
9.30am: Pat Quirke says he goes for breakfast in his house with Sean Dillon
10.19am: Bobby Ryan's phone last pings off a mast at Crogue Motors on the Cashel Road, a few fields from Fawnagowan.
12.15pm: Pat Quirke arrives in the Heritage Hotel, Laois

August 2011: Quirke says the affair with Mary Lowry starts up again. She denies this.

September 6, 2011: Quirke claims he spends the night with Mary Lowry at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford. She denied spending the night there.

January 2012: Mary Lowry and Patrick Quirke spend a night at Fitzpatrick's Hotel in Killiney, south Dublin. She told the trial she didn't want to be there, got drunk and left the following morning. "We did not rekindle our affair," she said.

December 3, 2012:  CCTV at Mary Lowry's home shows Quirke peeking in her windows, taking underwear from her line, and looking through her post box. 

On the same day at about 3.30pm a computer in Quirke's home is used to search for "human body decomposition timeline" and "rate of human decomposition". Various websites relating to decomposition are visited.

December 12, 2012: Mary Lowry's solicitor sends a letter to Patrick Quirke asking to terminate his lease at Fawnagowan. He agrees to leave in June.

April 30, 2013: Patrick Quirke calls his wife Imelda to say he has found a body in a disused waste tank at Fawnagowan. Imelda arrives shortly afterwards and calls Garda Tom Neville. Quirke gives a voluntary cautioned statement to gardai and denies any knowledge of how Ryan's body ended up in the tank.

January 20, 2014: Patrick Quirke is arrested on suspicion of harassment of Mary Lowry. He is questioned over financial dealings with Lowry, alleged passport theft, entering her home without permission among other things. Charges against him are subsequently dropped.

June 19, 2014: Quirke is arrested on suspicion of the murder of Bobby Ryan. When questioned about his internet searches for body decomposition he says: "My son had recently died. That's all I'm saying."

January 14, 2019: Quirke is arraigned at the Central Criminal Court and pleads not guilty to murder. His trial begins.

May 1, 2019: Quirke is found guilty of murdering Bobby Ryan by a ten to two majority verdict.

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