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Armagh man Aaron Brady found guilty of credit union robbery which led to Garda Adrian Donohoe's death


Robbery: Aaron Brady

Robbery: Aaron Brady

Robbery: Aaron Brady

A Co Armagh man has been found guilty of carrying out the credit union robbery in the Republic in which detective garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead over seven years ago.

The jury will this morning continue deliberating on the second charge of capital murder facing Aaron Brady.

Brady (29) has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Adrian Donohoe (41), who was then a member of An Garda Siochana 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, had also denied robbery of approximately €7,000 (£6,290) in cash and assorted cheques from credit union staff member Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

Yesterday, the court heard the jury had unanimously found Brady guilty of the robbery of €7,000 during the credit union raid.

Mr Justice Michael White told the jurors a majority verdict on the charge of capital murder would be accepted if at least 10 of them were in agreement.

He previously told them several verdicts were available to them if they found that Brady was one of the robbers.

He said that, in relation to capital murder, they must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Brady was the gunman and he knew, or was reckless to the fact, that Adrian Donohoe was a garda acting in the course of his duty when he was shot dead.

The jury were told they could find Brady guilty of murder but not capital murder if they found he fired the shot but did not know Adrian Donohoe was a garda.

Mr Justice White said manslaughter was an alternative verdict and explained this is the unlawful killing without the intention to kill or cause serious injury.

This had been raised by the defence as a possibility on the grounds the gunman may have been firing a warning shot.

If they are not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Brady was the gunman then they must find him not guilty, the jury was told.

The court has previously heard that on the evening of the killing, gardai were escorting credit union takings from four branches on the Carlingford peninsula.

At the beginning of the escort, staff were being followed by two uniformed gardai from Omeath Garda Station because gardai from Dundalk had been delayed.

Mr Donohoe and his colleague, Det Gda Joe Ryan, took over the escort and arrived at the Lordship Credit Union at 9.25pm. The cars were leaving the car park at 9.29pm when another vehicle blocked the exit.

Four young, athletic males wearing balaclavas hopped over a back wall of the car park, two armed with a shotgun and a handgun, the court heard.

The jury was told that Mr Donohoe, who had stepped out to see what was blocking the exit, "was blasted in the face with the shotgun. It was fired at close range, no more than the width of a car. He died instantly".

"He never, it would appear, had the opportunity to draw his weapon, it was still in his holster," prosecutor Brendan Grehan SC said at the start of the trial. One of the raiders smashed the window of the car and grabbed a bag, before the four men fled in a stolen car driven by a fifth raider.

Belfast Telegraph