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Witness rejects suggestion he was Real IRA member as 'ridiculous'

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A witness in the Adrian Donohoe murder trial has said a suggestion from the defence he was a member of the 'Ryan crew' or the 'Dublin Real IRA' was "completely false" and a "ridiculous statement", the court heard.

Daniel Cahill (28), a barman living in New York, has been giving evidence via video-link in the trial of Aaron Brady (29) who denies capital murder.

The witness has said on three occasions while living in the US the accused told him he had shot a garda.

Yesterday, under cross-examination, Mr Cahill told the court he was a childhood friend of the late Vincent Ryan and knew Dean Evans, a convicted killer, from the gym he went to but denied he was the member of any crew.

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Detective Garda 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 defendant, of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, also denies robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

Mr Cahill was being cross-examined by defence counsel Justin McQuade BL who put it to him a number of times he was a member of the 'Ryan crew', or the 'Dublin Real IRA'. The witness vehemently denied this, describing it as "completely false" and a "ridiculous statement".

Mr McQuade later apologised to Mr Cahill for suggesting he was "engaged in dissident IRA activity", which was described as an "outrageous question" and "unacceptable" by trial judge Mr Justice Michael White.

Mr Cahill said he knew Alan Ryan, known as the leader of the Real IRA in Dublin and shot dead in 2012, through his childhood friendship with his younger brother Vincent Ryan, who was himself shot dead in 2016. The jury was shown a picture taken from his Facebook page in which Mr Cahill identified himself and Dean Evans, convicted of the murder of Peter Butterly at the Huntsman Inn in 2013.

The court heard the image was uploaded 24 days before that murder and Mr Cahill said he had known Dean Evans from the gym he went to.

"I made a choice to stay away, clearly you can see that. I left the country and purposely removed myself from any of these people for this exact reason," the witness said.

Mr Cahill told the court he left for the US in 2013 and he "didn't want to get caught up in anything going down, there were a lot of people getting hurt around Vincent and I separated myself from that".

Mr Cahill told the court he was giving evidence in the trial because he chose to, and not because he has to.

The cross-examination continues before the jury of six men and seven women this afternoon.

Irish Independent