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CCTV footage shows final moments of slain detective

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The Four Courts. Stock picture

The Four Courts. Stock picture

The Four Courts. Stock picture

The trial of a man accused of the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe has been shown footage of a person holding a shotgun approach the unmarked Garda vehicle the officer was in and "appear to recoil and almost hit the ground".

CCTV footage was played to the jury at the Central Criminal Court yesterday of the moment Det Gda Donohoe was shot dead outside a Co Louth credit union.

Dashcam video and audio from a vehicle parked in the car park at the time of the incident was also played to the court.

Aaron Brady (28) is on trial charged with the capital murder of Det Gda Donohoe, who was then a member of An Garda Síochána acting in the course of his duty, at the Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

Mr Brady is also charged with the robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Mr Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

The accused, of New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Yesterday Garda Gareth Kenna, of Dundalk garda station, said he prepared footage for the court, which included video from two CCTV cameras at the Lordship Credit Union and one dashcam.

Gda Kenna led the jury through the footage which showed a Nissan Qashqai vehicle and an unmarked Garda patrol car, a grey Toyota Avenis, driving into the car park at the Lordship Credit Union at around 9.25pm that evening.

Both cars park up and a short time later the lights of the car park are turned off and a man is seen exiting the credit union towards the right-hand side of the screen where a Mazda vehicle is parked, Gda Kenna said.

The Nissan Qashqai then moves towards the entrance followed by the unmarked Garda car, he added. Gda Kenna said a vehicle then arrives on the road outside the car park, blocking the exit.

Two people appear from the right of the screen, where the rear credit union wall is, and "both individuals appear to be running towards the car park entrance where the unmarked Garda patrol car is," Gda Kenna told the court.

The first individual, the court heard, "appears to be pointing a long barrel shotgun across the roof" of the unmarked Garda car and a second person is behind him at this stage.

Gda Kenna said the apparent shotgun appeared to be "fully extended at this point and in the next frame we see this individual appears to recoil and appears to almost hit the ground".

A third individual is seen travelling across the front of the Mazda vehicle at the centre of the car park, and a fourth individual is seen at the driver's door of the Mazda before moving around to the passenger side, the court heard. The jury was told they then leave the car park, and the vehicle blocking the entrance drives off in the direction of Dundalk.

The footage shows Det Gda Joe Ryan, the colleague of Det Gda Donohoe, get out of the patrol car and quickly return to the driver's door.

Gda Kenna agreed with prosecuting counsel Lorcan Staines SC that in total it is 58 seconds from the moment the vehicle blocks the entrance to when it leaves the area.

Video from a dashcam inside the Mazda car in the credit union car park was also played to the court.

As the car is "engaging in a reverse manoeuvre", Gda Kenna said, the Nissan Qashqai and the unmarked Garda Toyota Avensis can be seen at the car park exit.

Gda Kenna told the court the dashcam footage then shows one individual running across the front of the Mazda, towards the Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Avensis, followed closely by a second individual.

The first person is then seen "recoil somewhat" before travelling back towards the unmarked Garda car.

A third individual is seen running diagonally across the car park, and a fourth man is seen running across the Mazda a short time later.

The clip, which lasts 41 seconds, also contained audio.

Evidence was also heard yesterday from a number of credit union staff working at different branches on the Carlingford Peninsula that day.

The trial will continue before Justice Michael White next week.

Irish Independent