'Tittle tattle' used as evidence in Tipperary murder trial barrister tells Court of Appeal

Eoin Reynolds

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Eoin Reynolds

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Patrick Quirke

Patrick Quirke

"Tittle tattle" about "who looked crooked at who" at birthday and confirmation parties was used as evidence to convict Patrick Quirke of the murder of Bobby 'Mr Moonlight' Ryan, a barrister has told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning, October 13.

Bernard Condon SC began making submissions to the three-judge court, saying there are 52 grounds of appeal and the hearing will take four days.

Outlining the grounds he said his client did not receive a fair trial and was convicted by circumstantial evidence, some of which should not have been heard by the jury.

He said evidence was introduced that wasn't properly proved and he complained that prejudicial comments by gardai during interviews with Quirke should not have been heard by the jury.

In particular he complained of a comment by interviewing gardai that Quirke had "cash on demand and sex on demand" from Mary Lowry.

It emerged during the trial that Ms Lowry was in a relationship with Bobby Ryan when he died and had previously had an affair with Pat Quirke following the death of Ms Lowry's husband Martin in 2007.

The prosecution argued that Quirke murdered Bobby Ryan so he could rekindle his affair with Ms Lowry.

Mr Condon said that the circumstantial case relied on blocks of evidence that supported one another and if one of those blocks is removed, "there is a serious question over the overall verdict."

During the trial there was evidence of words exchanged between Mary Lowry and Pat Quirke at Lowry family confirmation and birthday parties.

Mr Condon said the trial judge had allowed "tittle tattle" about "who looked crooked at who" at the get-togethers.

Mr Ryan, a popular DJ and father-of-two, disappeared on 3 June 2011 after he left Ms Lowry's home early in the morning. His badly decomposed body was discovered in a disused, underground tank on farmland at Fawnagowan, Tipperary on 30 April 2013.

The land at Fawnagowan was owned by Ms Lowry and leased by Quirke who used it for grazing cattle. Mr Quirke was convicted by a ten-to-two majority verdict of Mr Ryan's murder last year.

The appeal hearing continues this afternoon in front of Mr Justice George Birmingham (presiding) and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy.