'I’m just glad for his wife Caroline & for all Adrian’s family that they have gotten the justice they deserve...,' says key witness in detective garda Adrian Donohoe murder
ORDEAL: HOW DEFENCE LAWYER TRIED TO BLACKEN WITNESS’S GOOD NAME
THE KEY-WITNESS whose testimony helped convict Aaron Brady of the capital murder of Det. Garda Adrian Donohoe, has told the Sunday World: “I’m happy justice was done.”
Speaking for the first time since thug Brady (28) was convicted on Wednesday, Daniel Cahill told this newspaper: “I’m just glad for his wife, Caroline, and for all Adrian’s family that they have gotten the justice they deserve.”
Cahill, whose character was subjected to ‘outrageous slurs’ by defence counsel acting for Brady, almost single-handedly dismantled the web of lies the cold-blooded killer had spun in an effort to conceal the fact it was he who shot dead Det. Gda. Donohoe at Lordship Credit Union, in Co.Louth, in 2013.
In the face of threats and intimidation, in what gardaí described as the ‘dirtiest trial’ in the history of the State, Daniel bravely testified as to how Brady had – on three occasions – confessed to Adrian’s murder while in his presence.
Speaking with the Sunday World after we tracked him down to a bar in New York where he now works, Daniel told the newspaper he still does not feel ready to talk about the threats and intimidation or the slurs his character was subjected to during the seven-month trial.
At one stage the defence tried to suggest Daniel had been a member of the Real IRA – a tactic they later had to apologise for.
“Honestly, I’m not going to discuss that with you,” he told the Sunday World, when asked about the threats and intimidations witnesses had been subjected to and of the court-room slurs on his good character.
“I don’t really want to go into any of it until October (after Brady is sentenced).
Asked about his reaction to the guilty verdict on the count of capital murder, Daniel said: “Look, I’m happy justice has been done.
“I’m just glad for his wife, Caroline, and for all Adrian’s family that they have gotten the justice they deserve.
“That’s all I can say right now.”
In his evidence, heard at the Central Criminal Court via video link from New York, Daniel – who works as a bartender – told the jury how on three separate occasions Brady had confessed the murder to him.
He told how on one occasion Aaron Brady “ranted” after he was punched in the eye during a bar fight about having shot a garda.
On another occasion, Mr Brady was drinking heavily and “broke down” at the bar, telling Mr Cahill that he was involved in “robbery gone wrong” that led to him shooting a garda. And how on a third occasion, and this time seemingly sober, Brady confessed to the murder at a house-party.
Twenty-eight-year-old Daniel, originally from Donaghmede, Dublin, told the court he moved to New York in 2013 when he was 20 years old.
He started working in the Coachman’s Bar, on Katona Avenue in the Bronx, in December of that year and over the following two years saw Brady at the bar on most weekends.
He described Brady as not very tall, “definitely on the heavier side”, with dark, gelled hair and a pale complexion. He said Brady did not stand out.
The Coachman’s, he said, could be “a bit rough” and had its “shady characters”. He recalled one night, Brady was punched by a man and suffered a gash above his eye that bled heavily.
Brady went to the bathroom, where the witness followed him to make sure he was alright. Mr Cahill said Brady was “shook and erratic and emotional” and kept saying he was going to kill the other man.
Brady, speaking into the bathroom mirror, “said he [the other man] should know better because he had shot a member of An Garda Síochána in Ireland and it was a stupid thing to mess with him”.
Mr Cahill also told the court of a second occasion in the Coachman’s whe Brady arrived in after work and was drinking heavily until the early hours.
He was down, Daniel said, and stopped him to talk to him about “things he had done in his life which were going to come back on him”.
Brady, he said, “broke down” for 90 minutes to two hours and asked multiple questions that the witness thought were strange.
He also told him he was involved in a “robbery gone wrong that had led to him shooting someone – a member of An Garda Síochána”.
Daniel said: “He mentioned multiple times he had shot a garda in the course of this robbery.”
Daniel also described a third incident in 2015 while he was still working at the Coachman’s.
One night some customers invited him to a party after his shift. When he arrived at the house, he met Brady and three other men.
He said these men were “trying to outdo each other” to see who was the one you would not want to get on the wrong side of.
He said he heard Brady say that he shot a garda and while talking about his feelings said that it “takes a certain type of person to manage these feelings well”.
Mr Cahill felt Brady wasn’t drunk.
During cross-examination Justin McQuade BL put it to Daniel, that he had had been a member of the “Ryan Crew” or Dublin Real IRA – a suggestion that the trial Judge Mr Justice Michael White said was both “outrageous” and “unacceptable”.
Mr McQuade said: “You were a member of the Ryan crew, by that I mean the Dublin Real IRA.”
Daniel replied: “That is completely false... I have never committed crimes like that.”
He said pictures of him could be found with Vinnie Ryan, but said: “You won’t find me committing crime or involved in that activity.”
Mr Justice Michael White later told the jury that Mr McQuade’s line was “an outrageous question”. Mr McQuade apologised, saying he had “overstepped the mark”.
On Wednesday, and largely thanks to the strength of the evidence given by Daniel Cahill, Brady was found guilty of capital murder – killing a person you knew was a Garda member on duty – which carries an automatic sentence of 40 years.
His sentencing is not due to take place until October.