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Man accused of garda murder told lies - but it doesn't mean he is guilty, trial jury hears

New York witness is someone with a lot to gain, defence claims

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Aaron Brady. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Aaron Brady. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Aaron Brady. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Aaron Brady's defence counsel has told the Adrian Donohoe murder trial that the lies told by his client do not make him guilty.

Yesterday Michael O'Higgins SC was giving his closing speech on behalf of Mr Brady, who denies capital murder and robbery at Lordship credit union on January 25, 2013.

He addressed the jury on a number of issues including the evidence given by two American witnesses, the prosecution case, the defence case and the lies told by Mr Brady.

Mr O'Higgins said his client had lied on important matters to gardaí in the days after the murder, but added that just because a person tells lies it does not mean they are guilty.

The court was told that people do not tell the truth for all sorts of reasons - out of shame, embarrassment and to avoid getting into trouble.

Mr O'Higgins said lies were told because his client was involved in diesel laundering and was apprehensive about gardaí knowing this.

Earlier counsel spent much of the morning addressing the jury on evidence given by Daniel Cahill via video-link from New York.

Mr Cahill, who is originally from Dublin, previously told the court of three interactions he had with Mr Brady in which the accused admitted to shooting a garda.

Mr O'Higgins said that in his evidence Mr Cahill said he came forward because he wanted to see justice for the murder of Detective Garda Donohoe.

However, he said the witness did not come forward after any of the alleged interactions with his client, asking the jury "does this sound like someone with a burning desire to do justice?"

He added: "If we were ­waiting for Daniel Cahill to volunteer this information I suggest to you we would still be ­waiting."

The trial has heard that Mr Cahill gave a statement to gardaí having been detained at his apartment in the Bronx after it was searched by Homeland Security agents and the Yonkers Police Department on July 25, 2019.

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Suspected cannabis plants and an unidentified quantity of steroids were discovered at the property but he was never charged in relation to these matters.

He said that Mr Cahill is not as he appears and that he is a person with a lot to gain.

Mr O'Higgins also described Special Agent Mary Ann Wade, who was involved in the operation at Mr Cahill's apartment, as an "extremely difficult" and "evasive" witness. Agent Wade had told the court she could not answer questions on the immigration status of witnesses, citing a letter of scope from her employer limiting her testimony.

Mr O'Higgins said this was an "unprecedented situation" where a witness came to court and said "here's what's on the agenda, here's what's off the agenda". He said it re-writes the rules of a criminal trial and that it couldn't cause the jury anything but deep concern.

Addressing the jury on the evidence given by Molly Staunton, he said it changed "like a pendulum" and she was not someone whose testimony could be relied upon. In evidence Ms Staunton gave different accounts of overhearing what Mr Brady said while she was in a New York apartment with him in 2016 before saying Mr Brady definitely said he had shot a cop in Ireland.

Mr O'Higgins will continue his closing speech to the jury this morning.

Mr Brady 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 from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.


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