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Agent 'made no promises on visas to witness' in murder trial



Aaron Brady

Aaron Brady

Aaron Brady

A US Homeland Security agent told the Adrian Donohoe murder trial she did not make any promises to a key witness in the case whose US visa had expired, the court has heard.

Special Agent Mary Ann Wade, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), has been giving evidence via-video link in the trial of Aaron Brady who denies the capital murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

The court heard that Special Agent Wade assisted the garda investigation and some witnesses in the US were arrested.

Asked if she had told prosecution witness Daniel Cahill he could stay in the USA if he made a statement, the agent replied: "I made no promises to him and I made no statements like that to him."

Aaron Brady (29) has pleaded not guilty to the capital 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, Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

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

Special Agent Mary Ann Wade agreed with lead prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC, that she was present on May 18, 2017, when Aaron Brady was arrested in Yonkers, New York, for being in the USA illegally.

The jury was told Special Agent Wade had also received a letter of scope from her employer in which limitations were set out as to the evidence Homeland Security agents can give in a foreign court including the immigration status of any witnesses.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC, Special Agent Wade said they knocked on the door of every person they spoke to as a witness and that "some were arrested, some were not".

Asked what the criteria was for people being arrested, Special Agent Wade said background checks were carried out beforehand.

The court heard that on July 25, 2019, the agent and a number of other law enforcement personnel called to the home of Daniel Cahill.

He was detained before later giving a statement to gardaí in a local precinct.

Mr Cahill previously told the jury he heard Aaron Brady say on three occasions he had shot a cop in Ireland.

He also previously said his visa had expired when HSI spoke with him last year.

Asked by Mr O'Higgins if they were there on the basis that Daniel Cahill was suspected of overstaying his 90-day visa, Special Agent Wade said: "I was there because the guards wanted to speak with Mr Cahill, that's how I wound up at this house that day."

She added she was "not going to speak to the immigration status of any witnesses in this case".

Special Agent Wade was asked by counsel if Mr Cahill was told he would be permitted to stay in the US if he gave a statement, replying: "I made no promises to him and I made no statements like that to him."

She added she "did not offer him anything".

Special Agent Wade was asked if there were people approached by HSI to speak to gardaí who had overstayed their visas but were not arrested.

Special Agent Wade said she "can't testify to anybody's immigration status or techniques that have been used".

The trial of Aaron Brady continues before a jury of six men and seven women this morning.

Irish Independent