herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Garda drove Brannigan to the Mater after arrest, court hears

Liam Brannigan denies conspiring to kill Gary Hanley
Liam Brannigan denies conspiring to kill Gary Hanley

A detective has told the Special Criminal Court how he drove a man on trial for conspiracy to murder to hospital for treatment following his arrest.

Liam Brannigan (37), of Bride Street, Dublin 8, is charged with conspiring to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.

The non-jury court has been hearing evidence from members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).

They were involved in the arrest and search of Mr Brannigan on November 6, 2017, at Hanover Court, Hanover Lane, Dublin 8.

The court has also been hearing evidence of a search carried out at Bride Street on the same night.

It has already heard Mr Brannigan was apprehended by members of the ASU in a courtyard area just before 8.30pm.

Breathing

On Wednesday, the court was told that after being searched, he was taken to Store Street Garda Station where arrangements were made for a doctor to attend.

Yesterday, Det Gda John Altendorf, a GNDOCB member, told the court he found a blue mobile phone at the Bride Street property at 10.10pm.

Under cross-examination, Det Gda Altendorf confirmed to Giollaiosa O Lideadha, for Mr Brannigan, that he was involved in driving Mr Brannigan to the Mater Hospital in Dublin for treatment.

Mr O Lideadha asked Det Gda Altendorf if he was aware that Mr Brannigan was taken to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing and suffering pain "which resulted from what happened when he was arrested".

Det Gda Altendorf said he was not aware of this and that his brief was to drive the car.

He said another garda was in the back with Mr Brannigan and he himself did not speak to the accused.

Det Gda Peter O'Brien, of the ASU, also gave evidence about the apprehension of Mr Brannigan.

He told Sean Gillane, for the State, that before going to Hanover Court he was briefed that it was possible Mr Brannigan had access to firearms.

Under cross-examination, Det Gda O'Brien told Mr O Lideadha he did not believe CCTV of Mr Brannigan's apprehension showed "excessive force" was used by ASU members.

After a CCTV clip was played, Mr O Lideadha said to Det Gda O'Brien: "It appears that at least one of the gardai involved here seems to make contact with the back of Liam Brannigan with the garda's knee and that appears to be contact of some force as it comes from a standing position to a kneeling position on his back."

Shove

Det Gda O'Brien said it was a "shove" to get Mr Brannigan into the position the ASU members wanted him to be in.

Det Gda O'Brien said Mr Brannigan co-operated with gardai "to the extent that suited him".

He agreed with Mr O Lideadha that Mr Brannigan had his hands up in the air before he dropped to his hands and his knees.

However, he said he and his ASU colleagues needed him to be flat on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him in order to carry out a safe search.

He added: "You can't get into a struggle with any-one on the ground when you have a firearm in your hand."

The trial continues.

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