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Lawyer advised Brady not to give statement if he was involved in detective's murder

:: Accused told solicitor he was laundering diesel at the time

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Not guilty plea: Aaron Brady denies murdering Det-Gda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Collins Courts

Not guilty plea: Aaron Brady denies murdering Det-Gda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Collins Courts

Not guilty plea: Aaron Brady denies murdering Det-Gda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Collins Courts

Aaron Brady's former solicitor has told the Central Criminal Court he advised his client not to give a voluntary statement to gardaí if he was involved in the murder of Detective-Garda Adrian Donohoe.

Danny McNamee was yesterday giving evidence in the trial of Mr Brady, who denies capital murder and robbery at Lordship Credit Union in Louth on January 25, 2013.

The accused waived his right to legal professional privilege over conversations he had with his then-solicitor in 2013.

The court was told that Mr McNamee knew the accused's father Tony and he was contacted by him 10 days after the fatal shooting.

He said Tony Brady was concerned his son was "being connected with the murder of Garda Donohoe on social media".

Mr McNamee said he had a "quite lengthy discussion" with Aaron Brady before attending Dundalk garda station to give a witness statement.

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Victim: Detective-Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Garda/PA Wire

Victim: Detective-Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Garda/PA Wire

Victim: Detective-Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Garda/PA Wire

He told defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that he advised the accused "in very strong terms that if he had anything to do with the incident", he should under no circumstances attend the Garda station to give a witness statement.

The solicitor explained that once Mr Brady attended as a witness, he would not have the protection of criminal evidence codes, where a person can seek disclosure when under caution about particular matters.

Mr Brady told his solicitor he was involved in the process of diesel laundering that night and he had been loading cubes, the court was told.

While giving his voluntary statement, he gave an off-the-record account stating he was at a diesel yard on the Concession Road in Amragh trying to get a forklift started, before leaving 10-15 minutes later. He has since accepted that this was a lie and that he was at the yard for around 90 minutes, at the time of the robbery.

Under cross-examination from prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC, Mr McNamee agreed he did not take any notes while Mr Brady gave his statement and said he was asked to attend as reassurance.

He added that in circumstances where someone is giving a witness statement he would not intend to take notes.

The jury was told the solicitor also advised two other men who have given statements, Suspect A and Suspect B, who the prosecution say were involved but cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mr McNamee, who is based in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, added that his firm represents most people in relation to customs affairs in the general area.

Counsel put it to him that the capital murder of a garda was as far as you could get from customs affairs in terms of alleged criminality.

After Mr McNamee finished his evidence, Mr Justice Michael White said Mr McNamee acted with the highest professional standard while executing his duties and the prosecution accepted that.

The trial continues before the jury of six men and seven women this afternoon with a US immigration law expert scheduled to be called by the defence.

Mr Brady has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Adrian Donohoe (41) 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 at the same location on the same date.

Irish Independent