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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Alamy Stock Photo File photo of forensic gardaí at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth.
Adrian Donohoe

Man charged with robbing credit union where garda was killed fights Special Criminal Court trial

Brendan Treanor is charged with participating in a robbery that occurred at the credit union on 25 January 2013.

A MAN CHARGED in connection with the robbery of a Credit Union where detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was murdered has brought a High Court challenge against the decision that he be tried before the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

The action has been brought by Brendan Treanor, who is charged with participating in a robbery that occurred at the Lordship Credit Union, Co Louth on 25 January 2013.

He is also facing a charge with an offence relating to conspiracy to burgle. He is not charged with murder.

Since his arrest, 33-year-old Treanor of Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co Louth has been refused bail and is currently remanded in custody in Portlaoise Prison.

He has brought judicial review proceedings against the DPP, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General over the decision taken by the DPP last year that he should be tried before the Special Criminal Court (SCC).

His action has been brought on grounds including that the DPP has failed to provide his lawyers with detained reasons around the decision to try him before the SCC.

This, his lawyers claim, is relevant because the man accused of murdering Detective Garda Donohoe during the same robbery, Aaron Brady from Crossmaglen, was tried and convicted before a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

However, no answers to his questions have been provided by the DPP.

He also argues that his trial before the SCC would be unlawful and in breach of his constitutional rights because the SCC is operating as a permanent court when it was only set up on a temporary basis nearly 50 years ago.

Represented by Sean Guerin SC, John Berry Bl, instructed by Phoenix Law solicitors, Treanor seeks an order restraining the DPP from prosecuting him before the SCC rather than the ordinary courts.

He also seeks declarations including that his proposed prosecution before the non-jury court amounts to a breach of the guarantee of equality contained in the Irish Constitution.

He further seeks a declaration that he is entitled to detailed reasons for the decision to try him before the SCC.

Guerin said while the issue over the temporary nature of the SCC had recently been ruled on by Mr Justice Barr in other unrelated actions, counsel said that argument was not ruled out in his client’s case.​

Mr Justice Barr’s decision could well be the subject of an appeal to a higher Court, counsel added.

The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan today.

The judge, on an ex-parte basis, directed that the application for permission to bring the challenge be made in the presence of the respondent’s lawyers.

The matter will ​return before the court in March.

Aodhan O Faolain