Stunning mansion where killer Aaron Brady and robbery accused stayed night before garda murder
Ex-Flynn family home ‘Dunroamin’ on picturesque Cooley Peninsula was sold for €575,000 as accused stumped up €210,000 for his bail
This is the stunning mansion where a man accused of the Lordship Credit Union robbery stayed with Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe’s murderer the night before the shocking killing.
Brendan Treanor, (34), of Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co Louth and James Flynn, (32), from Raven’s Glen in Newry, Co Down went on trial this week at the Special Criminal Court.
They are each charged with stealing €7,000 in cash and cheques at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth on 25 January 2013 during which Garda Donohoe was shot dead.
They are also charged with conspiracy in connection with a series of what were described as “creeper burglaries” between 11 September 2012 and 23 January 2013, in which cars were stolen from houses while the householders were asleep.
Convicted diesel launderer Eugene Flynn Snr was in court this week to support his son James and James’s co-accused Treanor, who deny the charges against them.
A chunk of the circumstantial evidence against the men centres on CCTV footage taken close to the then Flynn family home, Dunroamin House in Co Louth, just a two-minute drive from the Credit Union.
The huge granite mansion, a photo of which was shown in court, is on the picturesque Cooley Peninsula near Dundalk, and went on sale in 2019 with a €575,000 asking price.
The court heard this week how James Flynn and Aaron Brady, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for garda Donohoe’s murder, stayed at the luxury property the night before the killing.
At a hearing last year, James Flynn had offered £185,000 (€210,000) and an independent surety of £965,000 (€1.07 million) when applying for bail in the UK from where he was extradited to Ireland.
His father Eugene Snr also previously faced extradition proceedings – in a completely separate case – after being arrested in Ireland in December 2013 on foot of arrest warrant from the UK.
Flynn Snr had been convicted of fuel laundering in England but walked out of an open prison not long after he was sentenced to three years and nine months in 2001.
He had also been ordered to pay £650,000 (€776,100) in tax penalties or face further proceedings.
Brady’s father, Tony, was also at the Special Criminal Court this week as counsel for the State, Lorcan Staines, opened the case against Treanor and Flynn.
The case against Brendan Treanor and James Flynn alleges the two men were part of an active criminal gang, all in their early twenties, specialising in stealing cars.
Part of the case will show how the men were close associates in frequent phone contact, while Brady and Flynn “lived in each other’s pockets.”
Brady and Flynn had both stayed at Dunroamin House the night before the fateful robbery which the prosecution is also seeking to link to the ‘creeper burglaries’ to target cars.
One theft of a Toyota Avensis resulted in a GPS satnav being linked to two journeys that began at the house, and later found in Eugene Flynn Snr’s possession when he was searched by gardai at Dublin Airport.
One of the journeys, according to the prosecution case, put the satnav at Belfast International Airport on a date when James Flynn said he had travelled to a match at Old Trafford.
The owner of the satnav is expected to testify that she was never at Dunroamin House or Belfast International Airport.
A series of what were described as “creeper burglaries” were outlined in court, with the phone records of the two accused men and Aaron Brady linked to most of the vehicle thefts.
There were seven cars stolen between September 2012 until January 23, in which a VW Passat was taken and used in the Lordship robbery to block the car park entrance.
It was later found burned out in a remote location north of the border.
As well as the Passat, other vehicles stolen included a BMW 5 series, a Mercedes E220, an Alfa Romeo, two Toyota Avensis and a Land Cruiser.
In most cases, the home-owners woke up to find a door lock had been ‘popped’, the car keys taken and the vehicle missing.
The prosecution case is that while no-one can be directly linked to any single burglary, the ‘many, many threads’ of circumstantial evidence show a conspiracy to carry out the burglaries between the men.
These include phone contact with each other “in the middle of the night” on the dates of the burglaries as well as local phone mast being activated by the phones used by the accused conspirators.
Lawyers defending the two men accused of the robbery have argued the burglaries have no connection to the robbery and that introducing the evidence will prejudice the men.
They asked the court to separate the robbery charge from the burglaries and to hold separate trials for the charges.
The court said a ruling on the issue would be made next Tuesday.
Other circumstantial evidence to be put forward by the prosecution includes photos taken from Eugene Flynn Sr’s phone showing a van and a diesel cube at a property where Aaron Brady had been dropped to carry out a task.
The same van was reported as being involved in suspected diesel laundering activity in 2012 close to the same remote place where the burned-out VW Passat would be found after the 2013 Lordship robbery.
A dark coloured 5-series BMW, similar to the one used by James Flynn with a modified rooftop, was seen braking hard at 10pm on the night of the robbery at a bend in the same area.
A silver Mercedes 5320 with a personalised ‘Eugene’ registration plate belonging to Eugene Flynn Sr was seen driving at speed in the area of Lordship Credit Union at the time of the robbery, with one witness remarking at the time: “Eugene is in an awful hurry.”
Previously, at a bail hearing in November last year, it was heard how Eugene Flynn Sr greeted gardai who had travelled to the United States to interview James Flynn by telling them “the boys are gone, you will never get them.”
Both Flynn and Brady left Ireland in April 2013 and lived together in the United States for a period of time, where it was heard this week that Flynn worked on driveway paving in the summer and snow ploughing in the winter.
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