Patrick Quirke loses appeal against conviction for murder of Bobby Ryan

Co Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke has lost his appeal against his conviction for the murder of a local DJ.

Quirke (51), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, was convicted two years ago of the murder of father-of-two Bobby Ryan (52), known as “Mr Moonlight”, at Fawnagowan in Tipperary.

A jury at the Central Criminal Court found, by a 10 to two majority verdict after a 71 day trial, that Quirke murdered Mr Ryan and dumped his body in a disused underground tank on a farm.

Mr Ryan disappeared on June 3rd, 2011 after leaving the home of Ms Lowry early in the morning. His badly decomposed body was discovered in the underground tank almost two years later on April 30th, 2013, on farmland owned by Ms Lowry and leased by Quirke.

Quirke’s appeal against conviction, brought on 52 grounds, was heard by a three-judge Court of Appeal in October last year.

Today, Mr Justice George Birmingham, Ms Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Isobel Kennedy dismissed the appeal in a judgment extending over 100 pages.

While it was clear this was a circumstantial evidence case, the multiple grounds advanced by the prosecution were such as to together form a “very sturdy rope” on which a verdict of guilty could be reached by the jury, the judgement said.

The case was “finely balanced” but the COA considered the trial judge was correct to refuse a defence applicaiton not to permit it to go to the jury, it said.

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