THE man accused of the murder of detective garda Adrian Donohoe denied in garda interviews that he made a confession to his flatmate’s girlfriend, the Central Criminal Court hears.
he jury in the trial of Aaron Brady (29), who denies capital murder, has been hearing evidence of garda interviews carried out with the accused after he was arrested in Dublin in relation to the murder of Det Gda Donohoe.
Gardai gave evidence that he was detained by members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in 2018 before being arrested on suspicion of murder.
The court heard that in a later garda interview a statement from Molly Staunton, the girlfriend of his flatmate while he lived in New York, was put to him.
The jury were told he replied: “I don’t accept any conversation took place with Molly Staunton that I confessed to the offence I am arrested for.”
Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of detective garda Adrian Donohoe (41), who was then a member of An Garda Síochána acting in the course of his duty, at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.
The accused, of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, also denies robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.
This afternoon the jury heard evidence of the arrest of Mr Brady and subsequent garda interviews carried out in 2018.
Det Sgt Kieran Reidy, of Dundalk Garda Station, said he was on duty on 25 February, 2018, when he travelled to Dublin with the intention of arresting Aaron Brady.
He agreed with prosecution counsel Dean Kelly BL that he met with members of the Emergency Response Unit based at Harcourt Square prior to this.
The court heard that Mr Brady was detained by members of the ERU at around 7pm at a location on the Cloverhill Road, Cherry Orchard in Dublin.
He was then arrested by Det Sgt Reidy on suspicion of the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe before being conveyed to Dundalk Garda Station and arriving at 8.09pm.
A number of gardai were called to give evidence in relation to interviews carried out with the accused while he was in custody.
Det Gda Jim McGovern, of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), agreed that he read out a number of statements to the accused previously taken from him in 2013.
The court heard that Aaron Brady told gardai: “I remember being here ya and giving a statement and anything other than that is going to be no comment unless there’s anything incorrect or shouldn’t be so.”
Det Sgt Paul Gill gave evidence that on March 2, 2018 he carried out an interview with the accused.
The court heard that a statement from Molly Staunton was put to Aaron Brady and he was asked who she is.
The jury were told that the accused responded: “I don’t accept any conversation took place with Molly Staunton that I confessed to the offence I am arrested for.”
Ms Staunton has given evidence in the trial that she heard the accused say he had shot a cop.
Det Gda McGovern was recalled to give evidence in relation to an interview he conducted along with Det Sgt Mark Phillips of the NBCI, now a Garda Inspector, on March 3, 2018.
The court heard it was put to the Aaron Brady if he wished to say anything in relation to the incident, and that he replied: “I just want to state I deny any involvement in relation to the offence for which I’m being detained.”
He was asked if he wished to make any changes to his statement and he replied: “I strongly deny any involvement in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. I strongly deny any confession to the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe and any other offence put to me here in interview.”
Mr Justice Michael White also told the jury that it is “likely” the prosecution case will finish by Friday of this week and said that there is a possibility of one more US witness giving evidence in the trial which would require an afternoon sitting.
The jury were told that they are “certainly coming into the closing stages of the trial.”
The court also heard that a reward had been offered by Crimestoppers in relation to this investigation but that it has not been paid out.
Det Gda Robin Faughnan gave evidence that he was attached to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) with responsibility for the Crimestoppers confidential line.
The witness explained that it is a charity that collaborates with An Garda Siochana primarily through its confidential phone line in receiving information from the public.
He said that on occasion rewards are offered to people who assist in solving serious crime, but said that a reward was never asked for or passed out by Crimestoppers in relation to this investigation.
The jury were also told of a search that took place at the home of Suspect B, a man who the prosecution say was involved in the robbery at Lordship credit union in 2013 but cannot be named for legal reasons.
Constable Ryan Landy, of the PSNI, said the property was searched on April 8, 2013 as part of a number of searches carried out on the same date.
PC Landy said that Suspect B was not home during the search but that his partner was.
Source: Irish News