‘One of a kind’ – sister and brother recall memories of ‘brilliant’ dad

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‘One of a kind’ – sister and brother recall memories of ‘brilliant’ dad


Close: Bobby Ryan and his daughter Michelle were both DJs, calling themselves Mr Moonlight and Shelley Moonlight
Close: Bobby Ryan and his daughter Michelle were both DJs, calling themselves Mr Moonlight and Shelley Moonlight

“He was Mr Moonlight and I was Shelley Moonlight,” his daughter told the trial.

Michelle Ryan took to the stand, saying the word she would use to describe her father, Bobby, was “wow”.

“He was a brilliant father with a great personality,” she said.

Her parents split up when she was around 18 or 19, she said, and she and her brother, Robert Jnr, lived with her father.

She described her relationship with him as being “brilliant”.

After her parents split up, she had concerns for his mental health because he was “very down” afterwards.

Michelle revealed that at that time, she would give her father “a quick phone call” as often as every 20 minutes.

After about four months, she conceded she could “definitely have taken her foot off the pedal” but for about seven or eight months she was in “fair contact” with him, he said.

“I never really stuck my nose into his business,” she said. But in his work as a trucker, she would not have known the roads he was driving on and when she rang him, he knew she was checking up on him and he would say, ‘I know, I know’.”

It was definitely nine months before she could say, “Yeah, there’s Daddy again,” she said.

Put to her that over the course of that time, he had got his love of life back, Michelle said: “Correct.”

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In terms of work, he was “precise”, she said – never missing a day.

“You could set your clock by him, that’s the type of man that he was,” she said.

“If he was running late he would ring but that man would make sure he was never running late,” she added.

Then, at the weekends, he would always be “playing his music – putting on a smile. He was … one of a kind,” said Michelle.

As DJ Mr Moonlight, he would play local venues, particularly Foxes in Cashel, Co Tipperary. She got into being a DJ through him.

“He was Mr Moonlight and I was Shelley Moonlight,” she said.

He would mostly play Foxes, while she would play venues further afield.

When her father went missing, she contacted gardaí, explaining it was completely out of character for her father not to show up for work, not to contact any of the family and “definitely” not having his mobile phone turned on.

Her brother Robert similarly told the trial of their father’s love of life and of his interests.

Asked to describe Bobby Ryan generally, he said: “Happy yeah, yeah, always a bit of craic.”

His father had had a few girlfriends or friends since his marriage had broken up a number of years before, but around Christmas 2010, he noticed it seemed to be serious between him and Mary Lowry.

Robert had met her a number of times and had also met her three children.

His father got on “good” with them and had bought them remote-control cars that Christmas, he recalled.

On June 2, he remembered his last conversation with his father, who had rung him to ask whether he would be back at the house that evening and whether he would cut his hair.

In May 2013, after his father’s body was found, he made a statement to gardaí recalling how his father would come in from work and his phone would be “hopping” with texts.

“There would be a lot of texts coming in – my recollection is they were from Mary Lowry,” said Robert, adding that his father would be “pretty pissed off” over all these texts after a while.

Irish Independent


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