The Supreme Court has set a date of 23 May to hear further submissions on an appeal by convicted murderer Patrick Quirke.

Last week the court ruled the seizure and analysis of a computer from Mr Quirke's home - which formed a key part of the evidence against him - was unlawful.

The court said it would now hear further submissions from the prosecution and defence as to what should be the consequences of the ruling.

At a brief hearing this morning, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said further arguments would be required as to the consequences which should flow from the ruling including the jurisdiction of the court to order a retrial or make a ruling on the evidence in question, as it has done in other recent cases concerning search warrants.

The judge said a full day has been assigned to the case before which written submissions will be received by the court.

The court was told there may no longer been a need for lawyers for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission or the Attorney General to be involved in the case as the issues had been narrowed to those between the Director of Public Prosecutions and Mr Quirke.

Bobby Ryan was last seen alive in June 2011

Last week the seven judge court gave a decision on part of the appeal by Tipperary farmer Patrick Quirke against his conviction for the murder in 2011 of Bobby Ryan.

Mr Quirke, 52, is serving a life sentence imposed after his conviction in 2019 for the murder of Bobby Ryan, a DJ known as Mr Moonlight, following a 15-week trial.

He lost an appeal against his conviction but the Supreme Court heard a further appeal on two issues.

Mr Quirke's lawyers had argued before the Supreme Court that a search of his home in 2013, during which key prosecution evidence was seized, was unlawful because the warrant was invalid as it did not specify that computers were to be seized and analysed.

The seven judge court ruled the analysis of the computer led to a "more significant intrusion" into the privacy rights of the accused than permitted.

The court said the law allowed for a search of a physical space and while a computer could be examined as a physical object for, as an example fingerprints, its use "as a portal into a virtual space" would have to be specified by gardaí when applying for a warrant.

The court said the warrant in this case made no reference to computers or digital devices or any potential reason for searching them.

The further intrusion into the digital space was not permitted because it was not authorised by the judge issuing the warrant and therefore was unlawful, the court ruled.

Mr Justice Charleton said there was insufficient judicial analysis prior to the granting of the warrant and said this could have been obtained through a clear reference to computer devices and a statement as to why a digital search might be reasonably needed when the warrant application was made.

The trial in 2019 heard that Patrick Quirke murdered his love rival Bobby Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with farm owner Mary Lowry.

Bobby Ryan's remains were found in a disused underground tank on Mary Lowry’s farm almost two years after he went missing.

He had been in a relationship with Ms Lowry and was last seen alive as he left her home to go to work early on 3 June 2011.

The prosecution said Patrick Quirke staged the discovery of the body as he was about to give up his lease on the farm and feared he would be found out.

Quirke’s appeal following the rejection of his case by the Court of Appeal.

The court agreed to hear the appeal because it involved matters of law of public importance.