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Man accused of murdering garda gave 'untrue' account of whereabouts on night of shooting, court told


Det Gda Adrian Donohoe

Det Gda Adrian Donohoe

Det Gda Adrian Donohoe

The man accused of the murder of detective garda Adrian Donohoe gave an "untrue" account of his whereabouts on the night of the fatal shooting, a court has heard.

A Garda Inspector told the jury at the Central Criminal Court that he spoke to Aaron Brady (28) and another man the day after the killing and asked them about their movements the previous evening.

Insp John Moroney said that their accounts "did not marry" and that there was a "conflict in times" between them.

The jury also heard from counsel for the accused, Michael O'Higgins SC, that Mr Brady later gave a voluntary statement to gardai and that the previous account given was untrue.

Aaron Brady is on trial for 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.

He 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.


Aaron Brady is charged with murder of Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady is charged with murder of Adrian Donohoe

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

Inspector John Moroney told the jury that he was in charge of a team of around 30 gardai searching the area near the scene the day after the murder.

The witness said he observed a BMW car approaching Ballymacscanlon roundabout from the direction of Lordship credit union with two occupants inside at 12.35pm in the afternoon.

The court heard Insp Moroney recognised the front seat passenger as the accused and, at the time, was the prosecuting garda in a matter before Dundalk Circuit Court involving Aaron Brady.

The witness said he spoke to Mr Brady away from the car and that he asked him about his movements on the Friday evening, January 25.

Insp Moroney was told by Aaron Brady that he was with the driver of the BMW between 4pm and 5pm at a fast food restaurant in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh.

The accused then told him that he went to his girlfriends house on Concession Road, Cullaville, at around 7pm and stayed there until 3am the following morning.

Aaron Brady said he was collected by his friend, the BMW driver who cannot be named by court order, and they then returned to a property in Bellurgan where they played the Fifa video game.

The accused, the court heard, told Insp Moroney that he wasn't aware of the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe until he woke up on Saturday morning, January 26.

The witness noted that Mr Brady said he went to a house in Bellurgan inside the garda cordon near the scene, and thought he would have "known about the incident" the night before. Insp Moroney said this "felt strange" and later prepared a report of the conversations.

The Garda Inspector said he asked Aaron Brady to contact gardai if he heard anything about what happened, and that Mr Brady replied: "It might help me with my circuit court case".

The jury were also told that Aaron Brady appeared "very relaxed" during the conversation.

After talking to him, Insp Moroney spoke to the driver of the BMW who said that he was with Mr Brady that Friday evening and dropped him home between 8pm and 9pm. He said he then spent up to an hour at a friend's house in Crossmaglen and after this collected Aaron Brady and brought him to his girlfriend's house, the court heard.

The witness said the BMW driver appeared "nervous" during their conversation and "seemed more nervous throughout".

Insp Moroney told prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC that there was a "conflict in times" between the two accounts and that they "didn't marry".

The witness agreed with defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that the men gave "completely contradicting" accounts.

Mr O'Higgins put it to the Garda Inspector if he was aware that Aaron Brady later made a voluntary statement to Gardai in which he said the account given was untrue.

Insp Moroney said he knew that Mr Brady made a statement but wasn't aware of its contents as he hadn't read it.

This morning the court also heard that the accused was in a BMW stopped near the scene less than six hours after the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe.

Gda Finbar Gurhy said that the driver was signalled to stop along the Carlingford Road within the Garda cordon at 3.05am.

The Garda said they inquired as to what the vehicle was doing in the area, and the driver told him that he lived nearby and was heading home.

Another man was in the passenger seat, and the defence said it is accepted that this was Aaron Brady.

The trial continues before Justice Michael White and the jury of eight men and seven women on Monday morning.

Online Editors