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'Brady wore shooting like a badge of honour' trial jury is told

  • Garda murder accused a 'skilled and practised liar', court hears

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Aaron Brady at court where he denies murdering Garda Adrian Donohoe in a credit union robbery

Aaron Brady at court where he denies murdering Garda Adrian Donohoe in a credit union robbery

Aaron Brady at court where he denies murdering Garda Adrian Donohoe in a credit union robbery

Aaron Brady has been described as a "skilled and practised liar" who wore the shooting of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe "like a badge of honour", the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Yesterday, Lorcan Staines SC delivered the prosecution's closing speech in the trial of Mr Brady (29), who denies capital murder and robbery at Lordship Credit Union, Dundalk, on January 25, 2013.

He said the raid was carried out for a base criminal motive and the gang was in pursuit of money through violence.

It had significant local knowledge of the back roads, with Border accents, and used the Border, which Mr Staines said was "extraordinarily useful" for a criminal gang as organised and as slick as this.

Pressure

The raiders, he said, had a number of minutes to observe the cash escort as it waited in the car park of Lordship Credit Union before the two men with the firearms proceeded directly to the unmarked garda car. The two other raiders, one unarmed and one carrying a hammer, ran to the employees' cars.

Mr Staines said the accused was under financial pressure at the time of the robbery and told his girlfriend he was expecting money that weekend.

Counsel said it was the prosecution's case that the accused fatally shot Det Gda Donohoe from six to seven feet at "point blank" range and that he knew Mr Donohoe was a garda acting in the course of his duty.

Mr Staines told the jury that Mr Brady was a "skilled and practised liar" who had taken disclosure given to him to sculpt an alibi.

He described the prosecution's case as an "overwhelmingly circumstantial" one together with the admissions from the mouth of the accused, wrapped in a litany of lies.

The court was taken through CCTV footage from locations around Co Louth three nights before the murder when a Volkswagen Passat used in the robbery was stolen from Clogherhead. The jury was told there was also a silent period between phones of the accused and "Suspect A" at this time.

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Adrian Donohoe

Adrian Donohoe

Adrian Donohoe

There was evidence that a car matching Suspect A's vehicle, a BMW 5 Series, was captured on CCTV on Clogherhead main street that morning. Mr Staines told the jury it was not about the quality of the footage from that night, but rather the coincidence of the footage.

He said on the night of the murder, phones belonging to Mr Brady and three other suspects were inactive an hour before and after the robbery.

Counsel added that, if this was an innocent occurrence, it would be an "extraordinarily unusual and unlucky coincidence".

Mr Staines also told the jury of the lies Mr Brady told: when giving a false account of his movements to Sergeant John Moroney the day after the murder, when giving his voluntary statement to gardai 10 days later and when giving evidence from the witness box.

Mr Staines said there were "big lies, little lies, clever lies, stupid lies, but all the lies were for the same purpose - the advantage of Aaron Brady".

He said there were also "other funny coincidences".

Haven

Within weeks of the robbery, Mr Brady and three other suspects all left Ireland and travelled to "far-flung corners of the world".

The accused, he said, settled in the Woodlawn area of the Bronx, which he thought would be a safe haven, working in construction and playing GAA.

"He came to believe he was beyond the long arm of the law. As time went by his confidence grew and he wore the shooting of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe like a badge of honour," Mr Staines said.

The court heard there was evidence given from US citizen Molly Staunton, who said she heard Mr Brady admit to murdering a cop. Counsel said that she was a witness with no animus, who was not motivated to lie, and that it would be "another extraordinary piece of bad luck" for the accused if Ms Staunton was mistaken.

He also recalled evidence given by Daniel Cahill, who said he heard the accused admit on three separate occasions that he had murdered a garda.

Mr Staines described as "disgraceful" what Mr Brady instructed his legal team to put to Mr Cahill under cross-examination, and that the baseless claims that the witness was a member of a dissident group amounted to "mud throwing".

The jury is set to hear the closing speeches from the defence on behalf of Mr Brady on Monday.