Moonlight witness unaware of water shortage

Credit irishtimes.com

By Ian Brennan

Witness Gary Cunningham was unaware of a water shortage at the Fawnagowan farm of murderer accused Patrick Quirke during the time he was working there, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The Court had previously heard that the reason the accused went to the tank where the body of Bobby Ryan was found to draw water from it was because he knew there was no water in the open tank he would normally use.

Cunningham was working for the accused on a placement since February 2013 for 15 weeks, and worked for a further two weeks afterwards while he was obtaining a degree from CIT in agricultural science.

Quirke pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a DJ that goes by the name of Mr Moonlight, saying he was celebrating with his wife the weekend Mr Ryan went missing

Cunningham told the court he would visit the Fawnagowan farm to bring back silage to the accused’s home farm in Breanshamore every day.

Cunningham went into detail with the prosecution counsel David Humphries BL about the practise of agitating slurry, saying it was common in farming in order to draw silage from a pit to be spread on fields.

Cunningham said he was unaware of the tank where Ryan’s body was found and couldn’t recall what was in the area around the tank.

He was not working the day the body was found as he had been injured after being kicked by a cow the Friday before. He had sent a text to the accused saying he would be back working and returned to work the morning after the body was found.

Cunningham said that he and the accused only had one quick conversation about the body being found, where Quirke had mentioned rumours that a group of Polish people had been involved with the murder of Mr. Ryan.

A second witness was called before the stand, Emmet Kenny, had worked for the accused since February 2009 on a three-month placement while attending agricultural college, before being hired to work for the months of February, March and April for the years since, including in 2013.

Mr Kenny said he was aware of the tank at the back of the farm where the body of Mr Ryan was found, saying he thought it was “an old septic tank”.

The witness told the court that Quirke took the June Bank Holiday in 2011 to go away, and that the accused had told Kenny of his plans two weeks in advance.

Mr Kenny told the court he had never spread slurry in either Fawnagowan or Bearnshamore farms, saying that separate contractors were responsible for doing that.

After the arrival of Gary Cunningham in 2013, the workload was divided between the two men and Mr. Kenny decided to work part-time.

The trial is ongoing in front of Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of 12 people, six men and six women.

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