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Man accused of murdering Adrian Donohoe 'gave voluntary statement to Gardaí despite solicitor's advice'

Brady’s solicitor told the defence counsel that Brady was concerned about being linked to the murder on social media.

Image: Gardaí

The man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe gave gardaí a voluntary statement after his then solicitor advised him not to do so if he had anything to do with the robbery and fatal shooting, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Solicitor Daniel McNamee took the stand today (MON) after the accused man Aaron Brady waived his solicitor client privilege. The solicitor told defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC that the accused man Aaron Brady was “extremely concerned” in early February 2013 because he was being linked to the murder on social media. He said Mr Brady and his father Tony Brady had arranged for Aaron Brady to speak to gardaí as a witness on a voluntary basis and Tony Brady asked Mr McNamee for advice.

Mr McNamee told defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC: “I advised him that if he had anything to do with it he should under no circumstances attend as a witness.” He explained that a person giving a witness statement does not have the same legal protection under the criminal code as a suspect and this is standard advice he would give to any client. Mr Brady subsequently went to Dundalk Garda Station where he gave a voluntary statement on February 5 and 6, 2013.

Mr McNamee, who no longer acts for Mr Brady, also said that Mr Brady told him prior to giving those statements that he was loading cubes of laundered diesel waste at a yard in Cullaville, south Armagh on the evening when Detective Garda Donohoe was shot. When Mr Brady spoke to gardaí he told them he went to the yard but was unable to load any cubes because he couldn’t start a forklift that he was supposed to use. During his trial Mr Brady has said that in fact the forklift did start and he spent about 90 minutes to two hours loading cubes of diesel waste from about 8pm. The robbery and shooting happened between 9.25pm and 9.30pm. Mr Brady has said that he lied to gardaí because he didn’t want to implicate himself in diesel laundering.

Mr McNamee told prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC that he didn’t place much importance on it when when he heard Mr Brady tell gardaí the forklift didn’t start and he left the yard after about 15 minutes. Mr Grehan asked him if that account seemed different to what Mr Brady had told him before speaking to gardaí. “No it didn’t,” the solicitor replied.

The solicitor further told Mr Grehan that he has no notes of the conversation in which Mr Brady told him that he had been laundering cubes of diesel waste. He said he would not normally keep notes when dealing with a witness statement.

Mr McNamee also told Mr Grehan that he has represented two other men who have been named during the trial as suspects for the robbery.

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

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

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Eoin Reynolds

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