The injuries to Bobby Ryan's body were not caused by debris that fell on the skeleton when gardaí removed the concrete lid of the tank in which the body was found, a senior garda has told the Central Criminal Court.
Chief Superintendent Dominic Hayes has been answering questions in relation to the investigation from when Mr Ryan went missing in 2011 through to it becoming a murder investigation in 2013 and coming to trial in 2019.
The chief superintendent told defence counsel Lorcan Staines SC that he was present when gardaí used a digger to remove a large concrete lid from the tank and while "minor debris" fell when the slab broke, no large pieces of debris or concrete fell on Mr Ryan.
When Mr Staines asked him why he didn't mention any of this in his statement he said it is not possible to make a statement in anticipation of questions that may arise during a prosecution.
He said he was sure Mr Ryan's body was not injured during the removal other than the fact that his arm was detached when the body was lifted onto a sheet on the ground.
He said again that no injuries occurred due to the lid being removed and added that it was "testament to the manner of the removal" that the detachment of the arm was the only damage done to the body.
Pointing to a photo of the scene taken following the removal, he said the lid sat on a sheet of corrugated iron and was reinforced with steel bars, which he said, "prohibits pieces of large debris falling on Mr Ryan."
Farmer Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight. Mr Ryan went missing on June 3, 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry's home at about 6.30am.
His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary 22 months later in April 2013. The prosecution has claimed Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (52).
The cross-examination of the chief superintendent continues this afternoon in front of Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.