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Man accused of murdering Adrian Donohoe says he is victim of media and gardaí

Aaron Brady today told the Central Criminal Court that media and gardaí “ganged up” on him.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe
Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe
Image: Garda Press Office

AARON BRADY HAS told his trial that he is a victim of the media and the gardaí, who he said “ganged up” on him following the shooting of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

Denying any involvement in the robbery that led to Donohoe being shot dead, Brady today told prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC at the Central Criminal Court that he was targeted because he lied to gardaí about his movements.

But he insisted he lied to cover up his involvement in illegal diesel laundering and that his lies had nothing to do with the murder. He further accepted that the first time the Director of Public Prosecutions was notified of his alibi was in December last year.

Brady also said that prosecution witness Molly Staunton was “mistaken” when she said she heard Brady admit to shooting a “cop” and he dubbed another prosecution witness, Daniel Cahill, a “psychopathic, pathological liar”.

Cahill has told the trial that he heard Brady admit to killing or shooting a garda in Ireland on three occasions while Brady lived in New York.

Brady also called Sergeant John Moroney a liar as he disputed Moroney’s testimony that he, Brady, claimed to have no knowledge of the shooting when he was questioned by gardaí the day after it occurred.

Brady (29) from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Donohoe, who was then a member of An Garda Síochána on active duty on 25 January 2013 at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth.

Brady has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbing approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques on the same date and at the same location.

‘The victim in all of this’

Beginning his cross-examination, Grehan asked the accused if he was “the victim in all of this”. Brady replied: “I would say I am.” When Grehan asked if the media and gardaí “ganged up on you”, he replied: “Absolutely, no question.”

Counsel said: “You lie easily and repeatedly. Big lies and small lies.” The accused said: “I lied because I was involved in diesel laundering, not because of the murder of Adrian Donohoe. That is the only lies I told. I’m on oath. I’m not lying now.”

He denied that he “distorts bits of truth” or that he takes “a little bit of truth and tweaks it to suit” himself or that he is “sculpting a story” around his lies based on what he knows about the prosecution case.

Brady accepted that nobody was with him in the yard to back up his alibi but said there are others who knew what he was doing at that time. He denied any involvement in stealing a car that the prosecution alleges was used during the robbery and later found burned out on Cumson’s Lane in south Armagh.

In January 2013, Grehan suggested, Brady was under “money pressure” as he wanted to buy a car for his then girlfriend Jessica King and was due in court where he would need to pay thousands of euro in compensation for criminal damage or face going to prison.

The accused denied that he was under money pressure, saying he got up to €300 per job for diesel laundering and had received €2,750 (£2,500 Sterling) from a compensation claim in Northern Ireland. He said he did jobs here and there, sometimes helping his father out with things that needed to be done at local GAA club Crossmaglen Rangers.

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Date on back

During a broad cross-examination, Grehan asked what date Brady started going out with King. He initially said he couldn’t remember the exact date but when pushed he revealed the date, adding: “I have it tattooed on my back.”

Grehan asked him if he had told “another little lie” when he pretended not to remember the date. He said: “It’s just embarrassing. My wife is sitting in the courtroom.”

When he couldn’t remember the date he started going out with his wife Danielle, he apologised to her.

Brady accepted that he shouldn’t have told King to lie for him about his movements in January 2013 but insisted that he told her to tell the truth after police called to her home.

Counsel also brought Brady through what the accused accepted were a series of lies he told to gardaí in February 2013. He said the lies were either to cover his involvement in diesel laundering or to cover up the fact that he owned and drove a van even though he was banned from driving.

At one point he said: “I lied and I’m trying to tell you why I lied but you don’t want to listen to me. I had nothing to do with the murder of Adrian Donohoe. I wasn’t going to implicate myself in something else when I had nothing to do with the murder.”

Grehan will continue his cross-examination in front of Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of six men and seven women tomorrow.

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Eoin Reynolds

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