The jury in the trial of a 50-year-old farmer charged with murdering his alleged love rival, and hiding his body in an underground tank, have been sent home for the weekend and will return for a fifth day of deliberations on Monday.
Patrick Quirke (aged 50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ going by the name 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 claims that Mr Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry (aged 52), while the defence contends the prosecution has failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and must acquit.
The jury of six men and six women have been deliberating for approximately 11 hours so far and will return for a fifth day of deliberations on Monday morning.
The two verdicts open to the jury are: guilty of murder or, alternatively, not guilty.
This afternoon, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon told the jury that she would release them for the weekend and “see you back here at 11am on Monday”.
A short time into their deliberations on Tuesday, the jury sought all of Mr Quirke's interviews with gardaí as well as phone records, which were handed in.
In her charge to the jury on Tuesday, Ms Justice Creedon told them that they must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust, and must treat circumstantial evidence against the accused with care.