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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Paddy Cummins Aaron Brady (File photo)
Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady to stand trial in Special Criminal Court for plotting to pervert course of justice

Brady was handed a life sentence in 2020 for the fatal shooting of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

CONVICTED Garda killer Aaron Brady will stand trial in the non-jury Special Criminal Court for plotting to pervert the course of justice.

Brady, 31, and alleged accomplice Dean Byrne are charged with conspiring to persuade a key State witness not to testify during his trial for murdering Detective Adrian Donohoe.

Gardai served them with books of evidence today.

Brady of New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, had denied capital murder for the fatal shooting of Detective Garda Donohoe during a robbery at Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth on January 25, 2013.

However, he was handed a life sentence after being found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury in August 2020.

Following a Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) probe, Brady and two others were charged on April 4 with other offences.

He is accused of conspiring with Dean Byrne at Mountjoy Prison to persuade Daniel Cahill, a prosecution witness in his trial, not to give evidence, to pervert the course of public justice, between April 8 and June 22, 2020.

During the trial, which ran from January to August that year, Cahill testified he overheard Brady say he shot a garda.

Brady has a second charge that on a date unknown between February 20 and May 7, 2020, he video-recorded the playing of a video-recorded witness interview between Ronan Flynn and members of An Garda Síochána, thus embarking upon a course to pervert the course of public justice.

The offences can, on conviction, result in unlimited fines and jail sentences.

The case resumed before Judge Victor Blake at Cloverhill District today.

Brady appeared via video link from Portlaoise Prison, having consented to a solicitor accepting service of the prosecution’s book of evidence on his behalf. Dressed in a white T-shirt, he gave his name when the case was called.

State solicitor Michelle Sheeran told Judge Victor Blake that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided the ordinary courts were not suitable for the administration of justice in this case under section 46 of the Offences Against the State Act.

She asked the judge to grant a return for trial order to a sitting of a Special Criminal Court.

Detective Sergeant Frank Treacy handed over the book of evidence to solicitor Fergal Boyle, who acted as an agent for Brady’s solicitor Peter Corrigan.

Judge Blake agreed to grant the order for trial in the Special Criminal Court.

The same trial venue order was made for co-accused Dean Byrne, who also appeared via video link, and the was no application for bail.

Detective Garda Kevin Lawless served his book of evidence on Byrne’s solicitor John Feeney.

Judge Blake told them they would be notified when a date for their appearance in the Special Criminal Court had been set. He warned them to inform the prosecution if they intended to use alibis in their defence.

The judge granted legal aid and ordered gardai to provide defence lawyers with copies of interview videos.

Previously, the court heard that Brady and co-accused Byrne, 29, from Cabra Park, Phibsborough, Dublin, made no reply when charged.

It was alleged a contraband phone was recovered from a cell in Mountjoy Prison with five recovered WhatsApp exchanges.

There were message threads and voice and audio messages to an anonymous contact with threats and offers to intimidate Cahill. Gardai alleged that Dean Byrne was a “conduit” between Aaron Brady and others.

The third defendant, Glen Holland of Rory O’Connor House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin 1, was charged with unlawful possession of a mobile phone in prison from Aug 7 – 28, 2020.

However, his case is to be dealt with at district court level. He will appear next week at Dublin District Court to enter a plea.