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Garda knew 'something terrible happened' after urgent assistance call on night colleague was shot dead, court hears

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Det Garda Adrian Donohoe

Det Garda Adrian Donohoe

Det Garda Adrian Donohoe

A garda who was on duty the night detective garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead knew "something terrible had happened" when an urgent call for assistance was made over the radio by his colleague, a court has heard.

Gda Alan Lynch gave evidence that he was on patrol on January 25, 2013, and had been tasked with escorting takings from credit union branches on the Carlingford Peninsula.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Gda Lynch and his colleague, the late Garda Tony Golden, shadowed the money in their marked Garda patrol car between three separate credit unions in Omeath, Carlingford and Cooley, before being relieved by an armed escort.

That escort, the court heard, took over at the Cooley branch at around 8.50pm and was made up of Det Gda Donohoe and Det Gda Joe Ryan.

Gda Lynch said that he spoke with his two colleagues briefly about the flooding that evening and minor damage to the front of his colleague's unmarked patrol car, before the witness and Gda Golden continued their patrol around the Carlingford Peninsula.

The court heard that they were patrolling in Drummallagh near Omeath when a call came through at around 9.30pm on their Garda Tetra radio.

Gda Lynch said that it was a garda colleague seeking "urgent assistance" and that "you could tell from his voice he was highly distressed".

The witness told prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC that he recognised the voice and that he "knew something terrible had happened".

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Aaron Brady (pictured) denies killing Det Gda Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady (pictured) denies killing Det Gda Adrian Donohoe

Gda Lynch agreed with Mr Grehan that he drove to the scene at "maximum haste" and that he was directed to man a Garda diversion around 100 yards from Lordship Credit Union before being relieved at 7.15am the following morning.

Aaron Brady (28) is on trial charged with the capital murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe, who was then a member of An Garda Siochana 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.

Earlier the court was again shown footage from a CCTV camera at the credit union at the time Det Gda Donohoe was shot dead.

Defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC asked for the footage to be played "without comment or observation" by Garda Gareth Kenna.

The witness agreed with Mr O'Higgins that the number of frames per second in the CCTV were "quite low" and that the absence of light affects the quality of the footage.

Gda Kenna also agreed that there is a difference in the footage when the lights in the car park are turned off.

Mr O'Higgins asked the difference in screen time between when the "raiders" are on screen and when they disappear, which Gda Kenna said was 50 seconds.

The trial will continue before Justice Michael White this afternoon.

Online Editors