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Account told by Adrian Donohoe murder accused was 'bunkum and lies', retired detective tells court

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Aaron Brady

Aaron Brady

Aaron Brady

THE SENIOR detective who oversaw the Adrian Donohoe murder investigation has described the accused's account of his movements on the night of the murder as "bunkum and lies", the Central Criminal Court heard.

Retired detective inspector Pat Marry, who was the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) until 2018, was giving evidence in the trial of Aaron Brady who denies capital murder.

Mr Marry told the jury that he did not ask the PSNI to search a diesel laundering yard where the accused said he was on the night of the robbery.

He said had no confidence in what Mr Brady "was telling gardai because I believe he was involved in the murder of Adrian Donohoe and was in the carpark of Lordship Credit Union".

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Adrian Donohoe (41), who was then a member of An Garda Síochána acting in the course of his duty, at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

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Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

Mr Brady (29), of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, also denies the robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Mr Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

This morning Pat Marry was being cross-examined in relation to a yard on the Concession Road in Cullaville, where Aaron Brady said he arrived shortly after 8pm on the night of the murder before leaving 15 minutes later after failing to start a forklift. The court previously heard that he told two detectives this in an off-the-record account 10 days after the robbery, and that last December a formal alibi was served on the prosecution saying this was incorrect and that he was moving laundered diesel cubes at the yard for between 90 minutes and two hours.

Mr Marry told defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that CCTV footage from Concession Road was viewed and that a car belonging to Suspect A, who Mr Brady said he was with that night, did not show up. Mr Marry said that the CCTV reviewed "not great" footage. The court heard that cars were identified outside the store on eight occasions but none could be identified.

"So that was very evident to me that the story told by Aaron Brady was bunkum and lies," the retired detective inspector added.

Pat Marry told counsel that the PSNI were not asked to go to this site and that a sergeant was liaising with them in relation to this matter.

He agreed that he had previously received permission from the PSNI to send gardai across the Border to examine a particular site in another case.

Asked what was different about a diesel laundering site, Mr Marry said: "Because as I said that site had no relevance to me as SIO because I believe Aaron Brady was not there."

He said they had no "clear address" for this yard but identified one which matched the description given by Mr Brady.

The retired detective said that he first ascertained the address when the accused produced his alibi at the beginning of the trial, adding: "Why hasn't he mentioned it before then."

Asked if this was the first time he knew where the yard was, Mr Marry said: "No, it was the first time I heard Aaron Brady stating the address."

Mr Marry said that four tasks were undertaken in relation to Concession Road which included requesting CCTV from the PSNI, interviewing witnesses, analysing phones and consulting the Crime and Security section for intelligence on yards on that road in respect of diesel laundering.

The retired detective inspector was also cross-examined in relation to a book he had written, asking Mr O'Higgins if he had read it and if he wanted him to sign it for him.

A number of passages from the book were put to the witness. One, the court heard, related to a case where the author noted that boundaries hadn't been widened enough and that as a result evidence was missed, while promising to avoid that mistake himself.

Pat Marry agreed that the initial decisions regarding an incident are absolutely critical, adding: "but I can't elaborate on that in the way I'd like to in respect of this case, I can't answer the question the way I'd like to."

It was also put to him that phone traffic between Mr Brady and a number of other people, including a known fuel launderer, in and around the week of the murder would appear to relate to fuel laundering.

Mr Marry said that this was the account given by one of the known fuel launderers to gardai, adding: "But do we believe him."

The cross-examination continues before the jury of six men and seven women tomorrow morning.

Online Editors