'Sex on demand’ comment was prejudicial, argues Tipperary farmer’s barrister

Natasha Reid

Reporter:

Natasha Reid

'Sex on demand’ comment was prejudicial, argues Tipperary farmer’s barrister

Tipperary's Patrick Quirke was convicted last year of the murder of Bobby Ryan

‘Tabloidese’ garda comments about Tipperary's Patrick Quirke getting cash and sex on demand and other ‘prejudicial assertions’ during interviews should not have been allowed into the farmer’s murder trial, his barrister has argued in his appeal against conviction.

Bernard Condon SC was making his submissions to the Court of Appeal this Wednesday morning on the second day of the Tipperary farmer’s appeal.

Quirke (51), of Breanshamore, County Tipperary was convicted last year of the murder of popular DJ and father-of-two Bobby 'Mr Moonlight' Ryan (52) at Fawnagowan in Tipperary.

Mr Ryan disappeared on June 3, 2011 after he left Ms Lowry's home early in the morning. His badly decomposed body was discovered in a disused, underground tank on April 30, 2013, on farmland owned by Ms Lowry and leased by Quirke. 

Quirke had previously had an affair with Ms Lowry and the prosecution argued that he murdered Bobby Ryan so he could rekindle their affair.

Mr Condon spent much of this morning focussing on the garda interviews with Quirke. He complained to the three-judge court that a number of prejudicial comments by interviewing gardaí should not have been heard by the jury.

He submitted that there were six such comments, including that the accused was ‘basically taking Mary Lowry to the cleaners’, ‘could be seen to be taking advantage’ of her, was ‘putting in the boot in on Mary Lowry’, had ‘used Mary in every way’ and ‘had her in the palm of your hand’.

The question: ‘Were you not getting cash on demand and sex on demand?’ was not a question - it was a piece of mockery, which had generated tabloid headlines, he said.

This ‘very potent phrase’ was unfair and the trial judge should not have allowed it to go to the jury, he added.

“But it’s left in there. That’s just a piece of tabloidese right in the middle of the case,” he argued.

The hearing continues before court president Justice George Birmingham (presiding), Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy.