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Donohoe accused was on bail at time of killing, court is told


Aaron Brady. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson

Aaron Brady. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson

Aaron Brady. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson

The man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was under curfew and on bail facing charges at the time of the fatal shooting, a court heard yesterday.

The jury in the trial of Aaron Brady (29), who denies capital murder, heard evidence of a voluntary statement he gave to gardaí 11 days after the killing.

Garda Inspector Mark Phillips, then a detective sergeant with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said a team had been sent to Dundalk to help the Garda inquiry into the killing.

He agreed with Brendan Grehan SC, prosecuting, that Mr Brady arrived at Dundalk garda station on February 5, 2013, with a solicitor to make a voluntary statement. He also agreed Mr Brady was not under arrest and at that stage was not a suspect.

The statement was then read out to the Central Criminal Court by Mr Grehan.

The accused told gardaí that he had a curfew for around 9pm as part of conditions related to criminal damage and dangerous driving charges he was facing before Dundalk Circuit Court while he was living in Tullydonnell, Co Louth.

But he said his bail address was a different one, at a holiday home that was owned by his grandfather.

In his statement, Mr Brady said he finished school at 16 after completing his GCSEs and worked as an electrician until he was 18 or 19.

He then moved to Australia for four months and later went to the US around the time he turned 20.

While there, he worked in Boston, Massachusetts, with one of his best friends whom he had known from school, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Brady told gardaí that when he returned home after three months he worked with his father, Tony Brady.

His father had an advertising business and was also the chairman of Crossmaglen Rangers.

The court heard Mr Brady said that at around 2.30am on January 25, he and his friend went to collect his then 17-year-old girlfriend from a nightclub in Dundalk.

In the statement, he said he had a fight with his girlfriend because "she was wearing some fella's hat" when she came out of the nightclub.

Mr Brady said he then spent the night at a house in Bellurgan with the friend with whom he had worked in Boston, and they woke up after midday that day.

Aaron Brady and this individual then travelled to Tullydonnell at 1pm where they collected another man known to them, who also cannot be identified for legal reasons, the court heard.

He then said they got food along the Carrickmacross to Castleblayney Road and described the route they took to a closed filling station in Cullaville, Co Armagh, at around 2pm, where they were deciding what they were going to do for the day.

The jury of eight men and seven women will continue hearing evidence of the accused's voluntary statement to gardaí this morning.

Mr Brady, of New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Adrian Donohoe, 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.

He has also denied the robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Mr Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent