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Garda murder accused confessed to me, US witness tells Dublin trial

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Denial: Aaron Brady

Denial: Aaron Brady

Denial: Aaron Brady

A Co Armagh man accused of the murder of Garda officer Adrian Donohoe told an American woman he was living in fear of police coming to his New York apartment "because he had shot a cop in Ireland", a trial in Dublin has heard.

Molly Staunton (24) was in a relationship with a housemate of the accused Aaron Brady (29) in the summer of 2016 when he is alleged to have told her that he was "carrying around guilt having murdered a cop in Ireland".

The witness, who was giving evidence via video-link from her home in New York, told the Central Criminal Court that Mr Brady said "he was the most feared man in Ireland".

However, under cross-examination she agreed with defence counsel when it was put to her that Brady was concerned and upset gardai were looking for him, and he "never made any admission having carried out that shooting".

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in the line of duty at Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth on January 25, 2013. Mr Brady of New Road in Crossmaglen also denies robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

The witness said that in January 2016 she was 20 years old and in a relationship with Tommy McGeary, who was originally from Armagh, and he lived in an apartment with Aaron Brady in Woodlawn in the Bronx.

The court heard Ms Staunton worked as a waitress in a pub known as the Press Box in New York.

Ms Staunton said that one evening in July 2016 between 7pm and 8pm she was at her boyfriend's house.

The witness said that Brady had come out of his bedroom. Ms Staunton said that he was "intoxicated" and was "going kind of crazy" as well as "crying, going on a huge rant".

Ms Staunton said Mr Brady was "really in distress about his life".

The court heard the accused had a girlfriend, Danielle Healy, who was from Kerry, and she was expecting the couple's son at the time.

Lead prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC then asked the witness what it was that she heard Aaron Brady say.

Ms Stauton replied: "He said that he was in fear of the cops coming to the apartment because he had shot a cop in Ireland." She added that Mr Brady said "he was the most feared man in Ireland".

Under cross-examination from defence counsel Fiona Murphy SC, it was put to the witness that her client "denies making any confession to you or to anyone else about shooting a Guard".

Ms Murphy also put it to Ms Staunton that her client was concerned that gardai were looking for him and that he "never made any admission himself having carried out that shooting", to which the witness said: "That is correct."

The trial continues today.

Belfast Telegraph