A 50-year-old farmer has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of murdering a man alleged to have been his love rival.

Patrick Quirke, from Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, denies the murder of 52-year-old DJ Bobby Ryan, who was known as "Mr Moonlight", on an unknown date between 3 June 2011 and April 2013.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Quirke staged the discovery of the missing man in April 2013 because his lease on a farm where he allegedly dumped the body was coming to an end.

He denies the charge.

In his opening statement to the jury, prosecuting counsel Michael Bowman said the case would be determined by circumstantial evidence.

He said there would be "no smoking gun or act caught on CCTV".

Instead, the jury would be presented with a range of evidence that when put together like strands of a rope would "logically communicate the guilt of the accused".

He said the prosecution would present evidence that establishes motive, opportunity and the state of mind of the accused man.

The jury was told that Mr Quirke was allegedly unhappy because his relationship with the farm owner Mary Lowry had ended and she had begun a relationship with Bobby Ryan.

Mr Ryan was a quarry worker and part time DJ known as "Mr Moonlight".

Mr Bowman said Mr Ryan could offer Ms Lowry what Mr Quirke could not, a conventional, normal relationship. The jury was told Mr Quirke was married, whereas Mr Ryan was separated.

Mr Quirke had been best friends with Mrs Lowry's late husband and after his death he offered her support and help on the farm and their friendship developed into a relationship.

The relationship ended but Mr Quirke continued to have access to the farm under a seven-year lease agreement.

Mr Ryan disappeared after leaving Ms Lowry's house in the early hours of 3 June 2011. Searches took place after his car was found near a wooded area.

His daughter had noticed the car was left open with his DJ equipment inside, it was parked in gear and the driver's seat was not in its usual position.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Bowman told the court that Mr Quirke had the motive and the opportunity to murder Mr Ryan.

He said the only person who could have put the body in the disused slurry tank was a person who knew about its existence and he suggested that was Mr Quirke.

Mr Bowman said it was the prosecution's case that he had got rid of his love rival and resumed his relationship with Ms Lowry once Mr Ryan was out of the way.

However, nothing would ever be the same again and the relationship ended once again, Mr Bowman said.

In April 2013, two years after Mr Ryan disappeared, Mr Quirke told gardaí he had been pumping water from the disused tank when he discovered the body.

Mr Ryan's decomposed body had been stripped naked and left in the tank, covered with a concrete slab.

A post-mortem examination showed he had died from blunt force trauma. He had fractures to his skull and other parts of the body.

Mr Bowman said it was the prosecution's case that Mr Quirke had staged and orchestrated the discovery of the body because his lease to use the land was coming to an end and he knew he would have to hand over control.

"It is manifestly clear to Patrick Quirke that he could not compete with Bobby Ryan for Mary Lowry's affection and he was going to lose that. He (Mr Ryan) could offer her a conventional open normal relationship and he could not compete with his love rival," Mr Bowman said, adding that Mr Quirke's motive began to build the picture.

"He was murdered, the question is by whom?" he said, adding that Mr Quirke had the opportunity.

He said it presented itself by virtue of the pattern in which the relationship with Ms Lowry developed, whereby he would leave her house in the early hours of the morning before going home to change for work.

He said Mr Quirke knew of the existence of the disused slurry tank and when he knew he was going to have to hand over control of the farm something had to be done.

The prosecution alleges that for this reason the discovery of the body was "carefully managed, orchestrated and staged" on his own terms.

The jury has been told it will visit the farm where the body was found on Friday.

The trial is expected to last for eight weeks.