28 May 2022

Courts: Concerns raised by DPP over Aaron Brady campaign possibly being in contempt of court

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is concerned that a campaign on behalf of Aaron Brady, who murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, has released transcripts and other trial materials on social media along with "dubious" commentary that could be a contempt of court.

At a brief hearing in the Court of Appeal today (FRI) Brendan Grehan SC for the DPP asked the court to make an order that transcripts released for Brady's upcoming appeal should not be used for any other purpose.

Mr Grehan said the DPP is anxious that the transcripts be released to Brady's legal team so that the appeal can go ahead as soon as possible.

He added that there is an "issue concerning matters already published on social media" and the DPP is concerned that Brady's campaign promised last January that transcripts of the trial "would be made available to anyone who wants them." 

He said that the trial materials already published on social media were accompanied by "commentary of a dubious nature which could possibly be a contempt of court."

Michael O'Higgins SC, for Brady, said neither Brady nor his lawyers would make the transcripts available to anyone.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham ordered the transcripts to be issued to lawyers on both sides as soon as possible, "on the basis that they are for the appellant's use and should not be further distributed without the permission of the court."

Brady (30) was found guilty of the murder of Det Gda Donohoe by an 11 to one majority jury verdict at the Central Criminal Court on August 11 last year.

Last October, the father-of-one with a last address at New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh was sentenced to the mandatory term for murder of life imprisonment. As he had been found guilty of murdering a garda acting in accordance with his duty, the judge ordered that he serve a minimum of 40 years. 

Brady was also sentenced to 14 years for the robbery of €7,000 - a sentence that will run concurrently with the life sentence - at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgen, Co Louth on January 25, 2013.

Brady lodged his appeal on October 22 last and his grounds of appeal were submitted on December 3. No date has yet been set for the appeal which could last up to five days.

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