The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a further appeal against Patrick Quirke’s conviction for the murder of Bobby ‘Mr Moonlight’ Ryan.
Last year, the farmer from Breanshamore, County Tipperary, failed to convince the Court of Appeal that his conviction should be quashed.
Bobby Ryan went missing in June 2011 after spending the night with his partner Mary Lowry.
Patrick Quirke, who had an affair with Ms Lowry, was the one who found his body in an underground tank on her farm two years later.
The so-called Mr Moonlight trial that followed ended with him being convicted of murdering the local DJ.
One year later, his lawyers put forward their arguments as to why they believed he didn’t get a fair trial, but in the end, his conviction was deemed to be safe.
However, the Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a further appeal in relation to two specific issues: the validity of a search warrant used in the murder investigation and the DPP’s discretion to call expert witnesses in areas of objective, non-partisan and/or scientific evidence.
The first issue relates to the extent of any requirement to identify what might be searched for when applying for a search warrant.
During Patrick Quirke’s trial in 2019, the jury heard about the seizure of a computer from his home which, on examination, revealed internet searches on body decomposition and how DNA works.
His barrister unsuccessfully argued at trial and again on appeal that the search warrant was inadequate.
The Supreme Court will now consider that issue as well as the extent of the DPP’s discretion when it comes to calling expert witnesses.
The court agreed that these were matters of general public importance. A date for this appeal has yet to be confirmed.