Patrick Quirke told gardaí investigating the murder of DJ Bobby Ryan that his “only crime” was having an affair with Mary Lowry and that his name was “mud” in his home town.
The Tipperary dairy farmer claimed he had “never threatened Bobby Ryan in any way”, adding: “I challenge anyone to show that I did.”
“I did not kill Bobby Ryan – there is someone out there who did do it and he is laughing at the moment because you are looking at me,” Mr Quirke told gardaí, saying he was doing everything he could to clear his name.
Patrick Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan (52), a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight, on a date between June 3, 2011, and April 2013.
Asked how his affair with Mary Lowry began, he told gardaí it started after he told her he would have to “pull back” from his involvement in her farm because he was “falling in love” with her.
Ms Lowry’s exact answer was “I am too”, he said.
Mr Quirke was interviewed at Tipperary garda station on May 21, 2013.
Asked whether it was “widely known” that he and Ms Lowry were having an affair, he said: “Widely known here but not outside.”
Their relationship had begun after he had leased her farm at Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary, following the death of her husband Martin, and had been instigated “50-50”, he claimed.
Asked to describe the relationship, Mr Quirke told gardaí he and Ms Lowry had generally met at Fawnagowan. They went out to lunch together “but not too much” and did not do much socialising. They went away for a night “three or four times”, he said.
Asked whether his wife, Imelda had “an inkling”, he said: “Probably she did but she never said anything to me.”
And when asked whether he and Ms Lowry had ever discussed the future, he said he recalled how Mary had said “when the kids grew up”.
“I remember jokingly saying that was 10 to 15 years’ time,” Mr Quirke told gardaí.
Put to him that they hadn’t really discussed it then, Mr Quirke replied: “It wasn’t practical.”
Gardaí asked him when his wife had become aware of the affair and Mr Quirke said he had told her the previous March, in 2012.
“I needed to know if our marriage could survive it, I needed to be honest,” he explained of his reason to tell her.
Asked how his wife had taken it, he replied: “Not very good.”
- Read more: ‘Love rival’ trial: ‘I’m always afraid of Mary Lowry, she’s vicious’ – Patrick Quirke told gardai
Imelda had not confronted Mary and had never spoken to her since, he said.
Gardaí asked him whether the women had been close. Mr Quirke said their relationship had spanned 25 years and went through different stages over that time.
Since 2008, they had got on well and the two families had gone on holidays and outings together with their children, he said.
Asked how Imelda’s family had taken the affair, Mr Quirke told gardaí that they did not know about it until the previous week. And questioned about how Mary had got on with the Lowry family, Mr Quirke said they would be “wary”.
He told gardaí he and Mary confided in one another.
“She’d have told me about her upbringing that was probably difficult for her to tell,” he claimed.
They had also discussed “day to day things” such as problems she would have at work or with “the boys”, as well as financial difficulties.
He had advised Mary financially, he agreed, and she had inherited some investments and cash, including investments in a commercial property in Poland, CFD investments and shares.
“I advised her to purchase shares in banks and we all know how they got on,” Mr Quirke said.
Asked whether he had received any loans from Mary over the years, Mr Quirke agreed that he had.
Mr Quirke told gardaí their affair had ended in mid-December 2010 when he found out Mary was seeing Bobby Ryan.
He had known about Mr Ryan since that July, he said, but he thought it was just “a social relationship”.
Ms Lowry had ended their affair around December 15 2010, he said, after a comment by someone about a night out in Cashel led him to believe she “hadn’t been telling the truth of where she had been”.
At a later stage, he got her mobile phone and scrolled through it, finding texts between Ms Lowry and Mr Ryan.
“I texted him then through her phone, more or less pointing out to him she hadn’t been honest with him and that she had been seeing me for the last three years,” he said. “He rang back and I answered the phone and I just said ‘Sorry’, that ‘I’m the man’ – that’s all I said and I hung up.”
He said he was angry and must have accused Ms Lowry of lying. She told him they were finished.
Later, it appeared Mary and Bobby had fixed their relationship and Mr Quirke told gardaí: “I was angry because she was happy and she didn’t care if I was happy, sad or indifferent.”
Asked whether he thought Ms Lowry had a temper or was “fiery”, Mr Quirke said “yes”.
When asked if he would describe himself as having a temper, he replied: “I think everyone has a temper.”
On January 6, 2011, he met Ms Lowry and Mr Ryan at Hayes’s Hotel in Thurles, as arranged by Mr Ryan.
“I was happy enough in the meeting as he didn’t perceive me as a person who had it in for him,” he said.
He said he was impressed by Mr Ryan calling this meeting but was “disappointed” that Mary Lowry “hadn’t anything to add” and seemed to consider the meeting “a nuisance”.
Asked whether he had “warned Bobby off Mary”, he replied: “Absolutely not” and had wished them well.
Discussing their break-up, he said: “I was disgusted with Mary’s whole attitude.”
“I felt I’d given a lot of time and effort in sorting Mary out after her husband died and it was all forgotten.”
He felt he had not grieved for his friend Martin Lowry, believing that he had no right “as Mary never grieved”.
“It all started to hit then and I went for counselling,” he said.
Asked whether he was jealous of Mary and Bobby as a couple, he said he was not. “I was dealing with getting my own life back together with my wife,” he said.
After Bobby Ryan went missing, he did not discuss it much with Mary Lowry because she was “indifferent to it”. He and Mary Lowry were physically intimate four times after Mr Ryan disappeared but things were “not the same”, he said.
He said she met “a new guy” in March 2012 and that “brought a stop to it”.
“I didn’t want to go back the road again of being the other man,” he said.
The trial continues before Judge Eileen Creedon.
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