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huge bill Killer Aaron Brady got over €1.6m legal aid during murder trial of Garda Adrian Donohoe

Brady (29) was handed the minimum 40-year jail sentence last October after being convicted of Det-Gda Donohoe’s killing.

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Aaron Brady pictured leaving Dundalk Court House. Photo: Collins Courts

Aaron Brady pictured leaving Dundalk Court House. Photo: Collins Courts

Aaron Brady pictured leaving Dundalk Court House. Photo: Collins Courts

Garda-killer Aaron Brady got more than €1.6m in legal aid during his trial for the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

Brady (29) was handed the minimum 40-year jail sentence last October after being convicted of Det-Gda Donohoe’s killing.

The 41-year-old father of two was shot dead during a botched armed robbery raid at Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth in 2013.

It can now be revealed that Brady’s defence team was awarded €1,604,404 in legal aid.

The bill could rise because Brady, from New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, is to appeal his conviction.

The legal costs were released by the Department of Justice after a Freedom of Information request was made by this newspaper.

A breakdown of the expenditure shows payments to:

  • Three senior counsel totalling €737,629
  • Four junior counsel totalling €667,476
  • And two solicitors totalling €199,299

Once VAT is factored in, the costs will be even higher.

Aside from the €1.6m lawyer costs, three expert witnesses received €20,823, while a further three expert witnesses received £13,845.

Legal sources said the bills, while appearing large, reflected a “highly complex” case the longest murder trial in the history of the State.

It began on January 27 last year and sat for 118 days, during which 139 witnesses were called to give evidence, including the accused.

In August the jury found Brady guilty of capital murder by a majority verdict of 11 to one.

Jurors accepted the prosecution case he had fired the fatal shot during the raid at Lordship Credit Union in Dundalk on January 25, 2013.

Brady had denied involvement, instead claiming he was moving laundered diesel waste cubes at a yard in south Armagh at the time.

On the night he died, Mr Donohoe was on an armed cash escort when it was ambushed by a five-man gang.

In a bid to avoid justice, Brady moved to New York, where, it was said, he “wore the shooting of Det-Gda Adrian Donohoe like a badge of honour”.

During the trial, two key witnesses testified they heard him admit to shooting a garda in Ireland.

Brady was described as a “skilled and practised liar”.

He admitted lying when giving an account of his movements to gardaí the day after the murder and again 10 days later, claiming he lied as he was trying to disguise the fact he was moving laundered diesel waste.

The Department of Justice said it could not comment on individual cases.

“The provision of criminal legal aid in circumstances where a person is unable to fund their own criminal defence has been established as a constitutional right in Irish law,” it said.

“Set fees are paid to legal practitioners in line with regulations.”

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