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'I lied to gardai, but I didn't kill Donohoe', accused tells court

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Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in January 2013

Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in January 2013

Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in January 2013

A man on trial for the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe has admitted he lied to gardai in the days after the killing but repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder.

Aaron Brady (29) was yesterday called by the defence to give evidence at the Central Criminal Court.

He also denied being involved in the robbery of a car from Clogherhead, Co Louth, three nights before the murder which the prosecution says was later used by the robbers.

Mr Brady told the jury that he lied to gardai in the days after the murder because he was involved in moving laundered diesel cubes at the time and did not want to alert them to this.

Mr Brady said he accepted that he had told lies when stopped by gardai the day after the murder and also in a voluntary statement 10 days later.

Forklift

He initially told two detectives on February 5 and 6, 2013, that he was at the yard in Concession Road for up to 15 minutes but that a forklift on the site failed to start and he left.

He has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Gda Donohoe (41), who was then a member of An Garda Siochana acting in the course of his duty, at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

Mr Brady, of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, also denies robbery of around €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

The trial previously heard from Daniel Cahill, a barman living in New York, who gave evidence that he heard Mr Brady admit on three occasions that he had shot a guard in Ireland.

Giving testimony from the witness box yesterday, Mr Brady told defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that he was assaulted by Mr Cahill and three of his friends at his apartment in the Bronx on St Patrick's Day, 2015.

The row, the court heard, was over an alleged threesome Mr Brady and his friend had with the partner of one of Mr Cahill's friends, which the accused denied happened.

Mr Brady said that he was lying in bed when he heard two bangs and people shouting "Where the f**k is he?". Four men entered his room, he said, adding that "Dano just attacked me" and he headbutted him.

The accused said this went on for around 10 minutes and that Mr Cahill then rang Mr Brady's friend. During the call, the court heard, Mr Cahill is alleged to have said: "I'm going to cut this b*****d's toes off."

The allegations were vehemently denied by Mr Cahill when put to him in cross-examination previously.

Mr Brady told the court: "I swear on my son's life that Daniel Cahill stood in that room and done what he done to me. The man is a lying psychopath."

Mr Brady accepted that he was previously involved in a fight with a man in the Coachman's Inn bar where Mr Cahill worked in 2014, but denied making admissions to Mr Cahill about the fatal shooting while threatening the person who had punched him.

Ridiculous

He described as "ridiculous" evidence from Mr Cahill he made admissions while "crying into his pint" in the bar at a later date. Mr Brady also denied ever being in a named individual's apartment where Daniel Cahill said he overheard the accused admit to shooting a guard.

Mr Brady told the jury that he was "in a state of depression" following the murder when articles appeared in newspapers using a pixelated image from his Facebook page.

Mr Brady told the trial that he left for the US in April 2013 to "get a better life" and "get away from being blamed".

The accused will continue giving evidence this morning.