Dublin man charged with possessing €3m in drugs lived "separate life" to brother caught with 15 guns, court hears

A Dublin man accused of possessing almost €3m worth of drugs and an assault rifle told gardaí that he and his brother, who was caught with 15 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, lived "separate lives" and were like "chalk and cheese".

The Special Criminal Court has heard that gardaí failed to find the drugs and assault rifle, which had been stashed in a bed, when they carried out a search of a Kildare house during a "very fast-moving operation".

In her opening address to the non-jury court, prosecution counsel Fiona Murphy SC said that the owner of the property later came to clear out the premises and found “what appeared to be a large amount of controlled drugs and a firearm" at the base of a bed.

Michael Brady (54), with an address at Brookfield Grove, Blackrock, Co Dublin is charged with possessing €1.5m worth of cocaine, €1.26m worth of heroin, an assault rife and more than 180 rounds of ammunition at a property at Sallins Bridge, in Sallins, Co Kildare on January 24, 2017.

He has pleaded not guilty to all nine counts on the indictment.

It is the State's case that forensic evidence links Michael Brady to some of the items found at Sallins Bridge and to the address itself.

Detective Inspector Derek Maguire, of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), told the prosecution that fingerprints and buccal swabs were taken from Michael Brady as it was necessary for the proper investigation of the offence.

Garda Shona Moran, of the Special Crime Task Force in the GNDOCB, told Tony McGillicuddy BL that she interviewed the accused man on January 24 and 25 at Tallaght garda station.

The witness agreed with Mr McGillicuddy that, before the interviews began, Mr Brady was told of items seized at Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

Last month Declan Brady (52), a brother of the accused, pleaded guilty to possessing 15 firearms and more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition at that address on the day in question. He is awaiting sentence.

The court heard today that Michael Brady told Gda Moran in his interviews that he was originally from Drimnagh but sometimes stayed in Sallins Bridge to look after dogs. The accused said he had woken up in Sallins Bridge on January 24 as he was minding the dogs and no one else was in the house at the time.

Michael Brady was asked by gardaí how often he stayed at Sallins Bridge and the court heard he replied: "Every now and again, it could be a few days at any given time."

He slept downstairs in a room beside the bathroom but this was not officially his bedroom, he said. There were four bedrooms in the house, he did not pay rent and his name was not on the lease agreement, he indicated.

The accused man told gardaí that he had his own set of keys for the house at Sallins Bridge, had permission to be there and had been staying there “on and off for a year”.

Michael Brady said he was “100%” that he did not have anything illegal in his bedroom at Sallins Bridge.

Detective Garda Gary Dunne testified that he carried out the third interview with Michael Brady at 1.30pm on January 25. The accused man told gardaí that his brother Declan Brady also had a key to Sallins Bridge and would sometimes stay there as he owned the dogs.

Michael Brady denied that the two rounds of ammunition found at the back of a chair in the dining room on the previous day belonged to him.

Gardaí asked Michael Brady if his brother Declan was into criminal activity. “I wouldn’t like to say anything about his activity,” he replied.

Gardaí also asked the accused if he was aware that his brother was in custody as he had been found with guns. The accused said that he and his brother lived "separate lives" and were like “chalk and cheese” growing up.

Michael Brady said that he did not know anything about firearms found at a lockup and was not familiar with guns. He denied that his brother had ever asked him to do anything illegal.

Earlier, Detective Garda Maria O’Hara, of the GNDOCB, agreed with prosecution counsel Fiona Murphy SC that she conducted a “meticulous search” of a downstairs bedroom at Sallins Bridge on January 24.

A letter in relation to a lease agreement for Sallins Bridge which was addressed to Declan Brady was seized in this bedroom, she said, adding that it was dated February 23, 2015 and it confirmed the full rent deposit had been received.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.

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