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Gardaí found 'no evidence of intruder' at house linked to man accused of murdering Adrian Donohoe

Gardaí responded to a report of a suspicious male outside the house four days before Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead in 2013.

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

GARDAÍ FOUND NO intruders when they responded to a report of a suspicious male at a house that has been linked to the man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, a court has heard.

The call, made at 4.38am four days before the shooting, was made by the occupants of a house belonging to the parents of the accused man Aaron Brady’s best friend, who has also been named as a suspect for the robbery.

Gardaí said they found no intruders and could see no evidence of footprints on the wet grass in the garden.

The jury has previously heard that Brady told gardaí he went to the same house to sleep after leaving his girlfriend’s home sometime around 3am on the morning after Donohoe was shot dead.

Brady (29), from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Donohoe (41) who was then a member of An Garda Siochana on active duty shortly before 9.30pm 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.

Garda Fergal McCarthy told prosecution counsel Lorcan Staines SC he was working in the divisional control room in Drogheda, Co Louth, on 21 January 2013. At 4.38am he received a 999 call from a man who gave a name and address in north Louth and said three males in black clothing were in the yard of his house.

Two youths 

Garda Damien Welby told Staines he was driving a garda patrol car in the Dundalk district on the same date when, at 4.40am, he responded to the report of a possible trespasser. When he arrived he met two youths. One of them gave his name, which can’t be published for legal reasons.

He believed the second person present was this man’s brother. The men said they heard a noise, looked outside and saw someone wearing all black near a lorry container in their yard.

Welby went outside to look, he said, and noted no damage to the lock of the container. The youth told him there was nothing missing in the yard. Welby also noticed there was no sign of footprints, there were no vehicles nearby and he didn’t see anyone walking in the area.

Garda Robert Peelo was also on patrol that night and responded to the same call. He spoke to the youth, who told him that he had seen a male dressed in black in the yard. Peelo said he searched the area and found no footprints on the grass. There was, he said, a “heavy dew on the lawn” and the only marks left on it were those of the gardaí involved in the search.

Under cross-examination, Peelo told Fiona Murphy SC for the defence that he made his statement in regard to what he saw in November 2013, 10 months after the event. He added that he commented to Welby about the lack of footprints at the time.

Garda Sandra Tierney was also involved in the search and told Staines that no intruders were found. Garda Enda Brogan said he was involved in the search and found nobody in the vicinity.

Detective Garda Colm Compton told Staines he attempted to attribute various mobile phone numbers to different people who were of interest to the investigation. He attributed three numbers to Brady and another to his best friend. Detective Garda Gerrit Durnin said he attributed phone numbers to friends of Brady and members of his family.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of seven men and seven women.

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Eoin Reynolds

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