Lust, land and murder-most-foul in rural Ireland




It had everything…obsession, revenge, greed, grief, emotion, lust, land and money, all culminating in the brutal, cold and calculated slaying of what we now know was a much-loved gentleman, Bobby Ryan. However, in what has been described as the longest running murder trial in the history of the State, we found out that, during this multi-layered case, killer Patrick Quirke’s appalling act was not, as we first thought, committed as an out of character crime of passion, (or, in keeping with the drama, a crime passionnel), rather it was all about one man’s voracious appetite for craving and control.

  Throughout the compelling circumstantial evidence, we also learned that, unlike those notorious gangland murders occurring across the country that we read about here in our lovely Roscommon idyll, as the jury of six men and six women found the respected award winning farmer, financial investor and all-round-good egg Quirke guilty, the man now facing life behind bars was far removed from the hoodie-wearin’ gun-totin’ macho thug; rather he was a well-dressed,  middle-aged gent embroiled in what now appears to have been a seedy sex situation who harboured murderous thoughts, believing he could get away with committing the so-called perfect crime. Without being disrespectful to the memory of murder victim Bobby Ryan, this case bore all of the hallmarks of a Hollywood movie plot.

  Now, while I’m glad Mary Lowry is reportedly ‘in a new relationship,’ following what must have been her extremely distressing and mortifying ordeal, we must not fixate on the woman, whom, due to her illicit affair with murderer Quirke, was unfortunate enough to be the crucial witness on whom the whole case rested. She will, with a lot of soul-searching, and hopefully the support she needs, be able to move on.

  However, for wronged wife Imelda Quirke and murder victim Bobby Ryan’s family, whose unbearable loss may never leave them, I fear rebuilding their shattered lives will prove to be much more strenuous. During the trial, I admit, on a personal level, I felt a lot of sympathy for Imelda and I admired her for faithfully and loyally accompanying Quirke to court each day; for stoically standing by him, and for clearly loving him. (It wouldn’t have been me). It was evident that, as the thirteen weeks ticked by, and with each sordid revelation, the trial took its toll on this slightly built woman whose killer husband once described in a letter he sent to agony aunt Patricia Redlich, (which formed part of the evidence), as having been ‘a tremendous support and (who) loves me deeply’. Now while I don’t get it, I do understand that some women, (and some men too) can become infatuated with a ‘bad boy/girl,’ winding up in a match made in misery; and I hope Imelda can rebuild her life independent of her ruthless husband.

  We must also never forget Bobby Ryan or his grieving family; most especially his adult children Robert and Michelle  who are now left to try and pick up the remnants of their shattered lives following their dad’s horrific death at the hands an evil manipulator and his poisonous trail of ruination.  Quirke’s devious, cold-blooded and heinous crime will not only leave a stain on their lives, it’ll also leave a smear on the decent folk of Tipperary who do not deserve it, as well as on the landscape as a whole. I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Bobby Ryan who, despite being visibly tormented by the evidence, showed enormous dignity throughout the trial. I’ve no doubt their precious dad would have been proud of his children’s distinguished composure.

It must be said that at this time, lawyers for Quirke are allegedly considering grounds on which to launch an appeal.


What’s in your hea-ad Leo?


Well folks, it seems it wasn’t enough for An Taoiseach to leave us ‘spinning around’ with embarrassment following his now famous fawning letter to singer Kylie Minogue, where he enthused about how he’d love to welcome the pop icon to our Emerald Isle – because he’s only gone and done it again, and this time on the streets of Limerick where he dueted with young County Offaly busker James McKelvey during his rendition of The Cranberries’ classic Zombie!

  Out canvassing for votes, cool-dude head-boy Leo was joined on the streets of the Treaty City (and on vocals, doo-wop, doo-wop) by MEP Sean Kelly and Senators Maria Byrne and Kieran O’Donnell, and, looking painfully awkward, (in my opinion), in the course of only one chorus, our country’s leader managed to quash every single quality that might have made him even moderately desirable to voters – as well as being majorly distinguishable to other nations’ heads of state – as a hard-nosed skilled Taoiseach, capable of running our country.

  Now I don’t know about you folks, but from where I’m sitting, it appears that Leo’s team of spin doctors totally missed the mark, and I have to ask what was ‘in their hea-ads, in their hea-ads,’ because if last week’s busking shambles was evidence of their pathetic attempts to mould him into some affable bloke-next-door who gets up early in da morning so he can be down with da kids, they need to realise that this time, their plan has totally backfired.

  You see, by encouraging him to stop for an off-the-cuff, out-of-tune-croon, Leo’s out-of-touch handlers have turned our designer suit wearing man-boy/fan-boy from being a leader whom now, more than ever, (given Brexit), urgently needs to embody a confident, skilled and experienced negotiator, into a bungling self-conscious juvenile who looked (and acted) more like a reject dumped from some cheesy manufactured boyband!

  And so, in response to Mr. Varadkar’s comment where he praised busker James – telling him “You’re really good, and I don’t do bullshit” – I have to say, neither do I Leo love, and, bless you, you were woeful and are defo not my ‘golden buzzer’ act!


Rossies showcasing their very best


Congratulations to everyone involved in making last weekend’s annual Lamb Festival a huge success. Myself, himself and herself, (darling granddaughter) headed to our county town on the sunny Sunday for what was a great day’s entertainment, and marvelled at the delights and creativity of the local craft stalls housed in the town centre’s marquees, before heading along to the family fun day in Loughnaneane Park where we met lots of lovely locals manning (and womaning) the many information stands.

  One such delightful lady was Roscommon Town Tourist Information Group volunteer Cáitlin Browne (I hope I’ve got the spelling correct), with whom I had the pleasure of chatting as hubby wandered round the castle and granddaughter queued to take part in the soccer skills comp. (The queue was too long and she gave up in favour of going for lunch). Well done to the Tidy Towns’ committee who did an exemplary, and very difficult job of keeping the park litter-free, especially as I witnessed some adults, (not the kiddies), shamefully discarding rubbish on the grass.

  Now, as I’m a vegan, I did not partake of any of the food on offer, but I can appreciate the enormous efforts put in by the hard-working committee, the volunteers, the restaurants, the sponsors and the exhibitors, who all lovingly showcased our county town at its very best.