A crime scene garda has told the Tipperary murder trial he is certain he told a colleague that a woman's hair clip was found in a run-off tank where the body of Bobby Ryan was found.
Garda Larry Stapleton was giving evidence in the trial of of Patrick Quirke, of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, who is accused of murdering Mr Ryan, a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight.
Mr Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Ryan at an unknown location on a date between June 3, 2011 and April 30, 2013. Mr Ryan's body was discovered by Mr Quirke on a farm at Fawnagowan, Tipperary.
Garda Stapleton told defence counsel Lorcan Staines that he placed a number of items from the tank in four separate tamper-proof evidence bags, before handing them to the exhibits officer at Tipperary Garda Station over the course of two days in May 2013.
In his notes, he listed one bag as containing cable ties, buttons and a hair clip. He did not write the contents on the outside of the bag as there was no specific space to do so.
However, he said a photograph had been taken of the contents of the bag.
Mr Staines said the exhibits officer had not written hair clip on the exhibits chart, and the photograph was not made available to the prosecution or the defence until November last year, when Mr Quirke had been charged with murder and was awaiting trial.
He said it would not have been evident from looking at the bag that it contained a broken brown tortoiseshell hair clip.
Mr Staines asked the witness how he could be certain that he had told the exhibits officer in 2013 of its contents when he had not made a statement until five and a half years later.
Garda Stapleton said he would have read from his notes at the time and he was certain he would have mentioned the hair clip.
Mr Staines said the garda had not been made a witness in the case until January this year.
Garda Kieran Keane said he did not remember being told the bag contained a hair clip at the time he received it and made the first entry about it to the exhibits chart.
His contemporaneous notes did not contain a reference to a hair clip.
He agreed with prosecuting counsel Michael Bowman that exhibits charts are routinely updated as investigations progress and material is examined and returned by the forensic science lab.
He agreed that after the hair clip was sent back from the forensic science lab in January this year, he amended the exhibits chart as it became clear there were additional items.
He also agreed that a photograph of the hair clip taken by another garda would not have been seen by him or by anyone leading the investigation until November 2018.
Defence counsel Lorcan Staines said there was absolutely no suggestion that Garda Keane had done anything wrong in keeping the exhibits chart at any stage in the investigation.
Earlier, Judge Eileen Creedon told the jury that the case may run longer than the original estimate of eight weeks.
She told the jurors they would be required until 22 March or beyond. The trial began more than six weeks ago.