Aaron Brady is planning to appeal garda murder conviction

Killer of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe has officially started his sentence at Mountjoy

Aaron Brady was sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment for murdering Det Garda Adrian Donohoe in 2013. Photograph: Collins Courts

Aaron Brady was sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment for murdering Det Garda Adrian Donohoe in 2013. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

Aaron Brady and his legal advisers are planning to appeal his conviction for the capital murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe and were expected to formally lodge that appeal now that Brady has been sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment.

Brady (29) was last night officially starting his sentence, prisoner 74326 in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, after becoming the first person for 35 years to be convicted and jailed for capital murder, the most serious crime on the statute books.

The married father of one from Crossmaglen, south Armagh, is now serving a longer sentence than any other prisoner in the Republic. However, a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that capital murder prisoners were automatically entitled to 25 per cent remission, like all other prisoners, means Brady’s time in jail is reduced to 30 years.

Married

He has also been credited for the period of just over 2½ years he had already spent in jail before yesterday’s sentencing hearing, leaving about 27½ years still to serve.

He could reduce that by approximately three more years under the enhanced remission scheme, which boosts prisoner remission by an additional 8 per cent of their sentence but must be earned through good behaviour.

Det Garda Donohoe, a 41-year-old married father of two, was shot dead shortly after arriving at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth, on the night of Friday, January 25th, 2013. He and his colleague, Det Garda Joe Ryan, were providing an armed escort for credit union staff taking money to a night safe.

Brady was part of a five-man gang hiding behind a wall and he opened fire, shooting Det Garda Donohoe dead, as he stepped out of his Garda car.

‘Difficult to comprehend’

Sentencing Brady yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, Dublin, Mr Justice Michael White said the “cruelty” of the killing was “difficult to comprehend”. Garda Commissioner Drew Harris warned the rest of the gang the Garda’s “resolve to bring all the participants in this crime to justice remains firm”.

Caroline Donohoe, Det Garda Donohoe’s widow, said, “In just 58 senseless seconds everything changed forever” and she would never fully recover.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the gun attack that took the detective’s life was an attack on the Republic.

The Brady family has launched a “Justice for Aaron Brady” campaign, with a website and social media accounts.

Separately, protesters, some of whom have attended far-right and anti-mask protests, gathered outside the court yesterday. They shouted “justice for Aaron Brady” at gardaí, the media and others going to and from the court, including Ms Donohoe as she left after her husband’s killer was sentenced.

Brady fled to the United States after the murder and boasted, usually while drinking, that he had “shot a cop” and was “the most feared gangster in Ireland”, though he was later deported and those remarks were used against him during his trial.