The Irish Times view on the conviction in the Adrian Donohoe capital murder trial: The hunt goes on

The Garda investigation into Brady’s accomplices must go on and others must follow him into prison

 

The conviction of Aaron Brady this week for the capital murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe followed a painstaking investigation by Garda members and a long and complex trial. While gardaí had arrested several suspects during the early years of the investigation into the murder, outside Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth, in January 2013, there were no charges for more than four years.

It appeared doubtful for a time that anybody would be brought to justice for the murder of the 41-year-old father of two. But Aaron Brady’s arrest in New York in May, 2017, and his deportation to Ireland, where he was charged immediately, was a decisive juncture.

The evidence heard during that lengthy trial reflected a meticulous investigation that inched forward over a period of years. Investigating gardaí worked with their colleagues in Northern Ireland, Britain, Australia and the US to gather every thread of evidence available. The inquiry was mainly carried out by gardaí in Dundalk station, who were colleagues and friends of the dead man.

This was a killing that shocked the country. Murderous feuding between gangs has become a familiar narrative in both jurisdictions on the island. To an extent Irish society has become inured to gun crime; killings often frequent and the seizure of military grade firearms not uncommon.

But gun attacks on Garda members remain especially repugnant; something that cannot and will not ever be seen as anything but the apex of criminal offending and an attack on the State and its people.

Brady’s conviction for capital murder - knowingly killing a serving Garda member during their duties - was the first such conviction in the Republic since 1985. It was a crucial outcome and a win, not just for Det Garda Donohoe’s wife Caroline and young children Niall and Amy; but a victory for the State.

The Garda investigation into Brady’s accomplices must go on and others must follow him into prison.

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