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rejected Patrick Quirke loses appeal against conviction for murdering Bobby 'Mr Moonlight' Ryan

The Court of Appeal rejected 58 grounds of appeal and said the trial judge took right approach in admissibility of evidence


Patrick Quirke. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Patrick Quirke. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Patrick Quirke. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Killer Patrick Quirke has lost an appeal against his conviction for the murder of love rival Bobby Ryan.

The Court of Appeal has rejected 52 grounds of appeal in the 'Mr Moonlight' case.

It found the trial judge took the correct approach in dealing with the admissibility of evidence.

Quirke’s lawyers had claimed his conviction was unsafe, claiming the trial judge allowed irrelevant and prejudicial material go before a jury.

But their claims were rejected by a three-judge panel comprising comprising court president Mr Justice George Birmingham, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy.

Quirke (52) was jailed for life in May 2019 following a 13-week trial, the longest in the history of the State.

The farmer, of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, denied killing Mr Ryan, a part time DJ known as ‘Mr Moonlight’, so he could rekindle an old affair with Mr Ryan’s girlfriend Mary Lowry.

The case against him relied heavily on circumstantial evidence. No murder scene or weapon were ever found and there was no forensic evidence.

Mr Ryan disappeared on June 3, 2011 after spending the night at Ms Lowry’s home in Fawnagown, Co Tipperary. He was 52.

His body was discovered in a run-off tank on Ms Lowry’s farm, which Quirke had been renting, in April 2013.

The prosecution alleged the find was staged by Quirke as his lease was to be terminated and he was about to lose control of the land.

Ms Lowry, a widow, had previously been in a relationship with Quirke, a farmer married to her late husband’s sister, between 2008 and 2012.

The prosecution case was that Quirke carried out the murder so he could rekindle his love affair with Ms Lowry.

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Quirke lodged 52 grounds of appeal. Much of the appeal centred on decisions made by trial judge Ms Justice Eileen Creedon to admit certain pieces of evidence.

His lawyers claimed much of what the jury heard was “tittle tattle” about “who looked crooked at who”.

They argued “mocking” and “prurient” questioning about his relationship with Ms Lowry in Garda interviews should not have gone before the jury.

One of the comments they objected to was a claim by a garda that Quirke had “sex on demand and cash on demand” from Ms Lowry.

They also argued evidence about financial arrangements between Quirke and Ms Lowry were not proven and should not have gone before the jury.

The trial had heard Ms Lowry gave Quirke €80,000 to invest for her and he had shared the proceeds.

Quirke’s team also alleged their defence of was hampered by repeated late disclosure of evidence.

The State argued much of the evidence complained of was necessary to set out the context for the murder.

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