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Man charged with credit union robbery during which Garda officer Adrian Donohoe was shot dead is refused bail


Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot in 2013. Credit: Garda

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot in 2013. Credit: Garda

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot in 2013. Credit: Garda

A man charged with the credit union robbery during which Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead has been refused bail.

Brendan Treanor (33) appeared before Dundalk District Court this morning where he brought an application to be granted bail.

During the contested hearing it was alleged that Mr Treanor was part of a criminal gang involved in 10 creeper burglaries across five counties between 2012 and 2013.

The accused, of Emer Terrace at Castletown Road, Dundalk, is charged with robbery of €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques at Lordship credit union on January 25, 2013.

He is also charged with conspiracy to commit burglaries with two named individuals between September 11, 2012, and January 23, 2013, by entering residential premises with the intention of stealing the keys of householders’ cars.

Sgt Noel Mohan, of Dundalk garda station, said he was objecting to bail being granted on several grounds including the seriousness of the charges, the strength of the evidence, and the likely prison term on conviction.

Outlining the background to the case, he said that detective gardas Adrian Donohoe and Joe Ryan were on a cash escort along the Cooley Peninsula on January 25, 2013.

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Sgt Mohan said the escort arrived at Lordship credit union at around 9.25pm when they were ambushed by an armed gang concealed behind a boundary wall. The court heard there were four men, at least two armed, as well as the driver of a dark coloured Volkswagen Passat which had pulled across the credit union carpark and blocked the exit.

One of the gang approached Det Gda Donohoe and discharged a firearm which fatally injured him, the court heard.

Sgt Mohan said the vehicle involved was later identified as being stolen in a creeper burglary in Louth on the night of January 22, 2012.

He said that the term creeper burglary was synonymous with the modus operandi of people entering a home and stealing the keys of a car.

The court heard that during the investigation burglaries of a similar nature were also identified.

Sgt Mohan said a criminal gang, which he alleged involved Mr Treanor and others, were involved in 10 other such creeper burglaries in Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan and Westmeath, between September 11, 2012, and January 23, 2013.

The investigator said that the charge of robbery carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel John Berry BL, the witness agreed that there was no confession evidence in the case against Mr Treanor.

Sgt Mohan also agreed that CCTV of the Volkswagen Passat linked to the robbery was taken on dark and rainy nights.

Asked by counsel if this footage was "far from ideal", the witness said that the CCTV "is what it is" and that it has been proven before another court.

Mr Berry submitted that his client was initially arrested in April of this year in relation to this investigation and was told that there was a possibility of charges but remained in the jurisdiction.

He said the narrative of the incident provided by Sgt Mohan was distressing and that a case involving capital murder deserves to be dealt with seriousness and earnestness. However, Mr Berry said his client was solely charged with the robbery offence.

He added that a general narrative was given of the incident but not of how Brendan Treanor was allegedly involved in the robbery.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan said she was refusing bail having carefully considered the evidence.

She made the refusal given the nature and seriousness of the offences, the sentence likely imposed on conviction, as well as the nature and strength of the evidence in support of the charges.

Judge McKiernan also said that, given the serious nature of the charge, she was going to grant a defence application for legal aid.

Brendan Treanor was remanded in custody to appear before the court again on August 12 for the preparation and service of the book of evidence.

A second man is due to reappear before Westminster Magistrates Court next month on foot of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

The 30-year-old, from Armagh, is being sought by gardaí to be charged with robbery at Lordship credit union and conspiring to commit burglary.

Aaron Brady (30), formerly of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum of 40 years for the capital murder of Det Gda Donohoe. Last October he was also sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for robbery at Lordship credit union.

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