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I was ordered to carry away safe, pilot tells court martial

A YOUNG Air Corps pilot told a court martial how a colonel ordered him to help carry away a safe after another officer refused to open it and give him a letter inside.

Lieutenant Paul Grennan said he had also been ordered by Lt Col Gerard O'Sullivan to call the military police when another officer refused to give him the letter.

Cmdt Niall Donohoe, who is attached to No 5 Support Wing in the Air Corps, has pleaded not guilty at a General Court Martial hearing to using threatening or insulting language to a superior.

Lt Col O'Sullivan has claimed Cmdt Donohoe called him "a little p***k" during his appraisal on January 30 last year in his office at the Air Corps base in Baldonnel. Cmdt Donohoe has insisted he actually used the words "this is a little prickly" to Lt Col O'Sullivan.

At yesterday's hearing, Lt Grennan said he was standing in as orderly officer in August 2008 when he got a phone call saying that Lt Col O'Sullivan wanted to meet him at the main tech stores in Baldonnel.

He said the Lt Col told him that he was a witness to an officer disobeying a command order from a superior officer.

Witness said that Capt Mark Caulfield was also present and it was his understanding that he was disobeying the order.

The Lt Col ordered the captain to give him a letter which he said he had written that was in a safe in the contracts office.

After the second order, Capt Caulfield said he couldn't have given the letter because it was addressed to Cmdt Donohoe.

The Lt Col ordered the captain to open the safe and he refused. Witness said the Lt Col then ordered him to contact the duty military police.

Lt Grennan said he left the office but was unable to contact the military police. After that, the Lt Col ordered him to help carry the safe from the office to the orderly officer's cell.

Once there, a driver helped remove the safe to the group duty officer's cell. Corporal Patrick O'Meara, asked by counsel for defence if he was aware of Lt Col O'Sullivan's character and demeanour, said that he was. He was then asked: "Would you believe him (the Lt Col) on oath?" Witness replied: "No, I would not."

The hearing continues.