A DOCTOR has told the Tipperary murder trial that Patrick Quirke privately confided in him about his affair with Mary Lowry and seemed “upset and quite hurt” when she began a relationship with another man.
Dr Ivor Hanrahan said Mr Quirke attended his clinic in Tipperary town on September 7 2010 and mentioned that he was under stress, which included financial stress. He was having difficulty sleeping and had symptoms of anxiety.
The GP offered him medication but he was not keen. Dr Hanrahan then suggested that he attend a counsellor because he might benefit from sessions.
He subsequently had a call from the counsellor in mid December and as a consequence, prescribed anti-depressants for Mr Quirke, primarily to help him with his sleep difficulties which were “a major source of distress at that time” for him.
He subsequently had a number of telephone calls with Mr Quirke over a 10 day period at the end of 2010 into early January and as a result, prescribed a number of other medications to help him with his sleep disturbances.
However Mr Quirke derived “minimal benefit” from this and he remained “distressed and upset.”
He told the doctor that there were a number of issues bothering him that he did not want to go into detail about and Dr Hanrahan suggested he come and see him in person, which he did on February 3 2011.
They had a long consultation that day and Mr Quirke disclosed an extra-marital affair with his sister-in-law which Dr Hanrahan was ‘obviously a source of upset.’
Mr Quirke asked him not to document their discussion in his file and so Dr Hanrahan said he was giving his evidence to the trial from memory.
Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan (52) a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight on a date between June 3 2011 and April 2013.
Dr Hanrahan told the jury that Mr Quirke had stopped taking the anti-depressant medication for his sleep, saying he did not think it had helped him.
They had discussed the impact it had on his mental health and well-being, he said.
Mr Quirke had told him the affair was with Mary Lowry and that it was over.
“She was in a relationship with a man and he was upsset and quite hurt about it, was the impression I had,” said Dr Hanrahan.
Asked by the Prosecution if he understood that Mr Quirke had feelings for Ms Lowry, he said “I think he did, from what I ascertained.”
“I think he was quite hurt and upset at the fact she had become involved with somebody else,” he added.
Under cross examination by Bernard Condon SC for the Defence, Dr Hanrahan was asked about Mr Quirke’s depression. He explained that one form of depression can be developed in the absence of stressors, the other is the result of stressful life events. Dr Hanrahan said he thought Mr Quirke was suffering was an adjustment disorder, with a set of symptoms arising out of a direct consequence of a stressful life event.
Mr Condon put it to him that Mr Quirke may have thought that he had been diagnosed with depression but in fact he had not and Dr Hanrahan agreed.
The medication had been prescribed for sleep disturbance but could also help with mood and anxiety symptoms but Dr Hanrahan said his main objective was to try and treat Mr Quirke’s sleep.
Put to him that Mr Quirke had been a friend of Mary Lowry’s husband, Martin, and that this was a ‘source of guilt to him,’ Dr Hanrahan agreed.
The trial continues.