A murder trial jury was today shown CCTV footage of the moment a biker was shot dead at the gates of his motorcycle club, reports Eoin Reynolds.
The jurors were also shown a sawn-off shotgun gardai found in a wooded area behind the accused man’s home and they heard that a search of the club premises yielded a bullet-proof vest and weapons including an improvised firearm and a pipe bomb.
Alan ’Cookie’ McNamara (51), from Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Andrew O’Donoghue on June 20, 2015 at Mountfune.
Also on trial is Mr McNamara’s stepson Robert Cusack (28), of Abington, Murroe who has pleaded not guilty to impeding Mr McNamara’s apprehension knowing or believing him to have committed a serious offence. The trial has previously heard that the deceased was a member of the Road Tramps motorcycle club while Mr McNamara was associated with the rival Caballeros.
Garda Nicholas Jones told prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney SC that he compiled CCTV footage from various locations between Doon in Limerick to the Road Tramps clubhouse where Mr O’Donoghue was shot dead.
On the afternoon of Saturday June 20 a camera at the clubhouse gates showed Mr O’Donoghue coming in and out with a green bar in his hand when a green Honda CRV arrived. Just before 2.45pm an individual emerged from the same direction as the Honda. The man appeared to be wearing gloves and brandishing a firearm, the garda said.
Garda Jones said the man appears to discharge the firearm and then make an attempt to reload by breaking the barrel and reaching in and out of his left pocket. At one point he dropped one of his gloves onto the ground.
Less than one minute after the shooting, a silver Ford Focus passed the club followed 15 seconds later by a navy VW Passat. When the Passat pulled up the man handed the gun to a person in the back seat and picked his glove up off the ground before leaving the scene. The prosecution says the Ford Focus was driven by Road Tramp member Seamus Duggan who was being chased by members of the Caballeros in the navy Passat.
CCTV footage collected at various locations showed the Ford Focus followed closely by the Passat travelling from Doon to the gates of the motorcycle club in the lead-up to the shooting. Mr Duggan said that he drove at speeds up to 100mph in an attempt to get away from the Caballeros and into the clubhouse yard for safety. But when he arrived the clubhouse gates were shut and Mr O’Donoghue was lying on the ground fatally wounded.
Garda Brian Begley told Mr Delaney that he was involved in the search of Mr McNamara’s home at Mountfune on June 21, the day after the shooting. At the back of the property there was an area of trampled grass leading to a wooded area. He followed the trampled grass and, using a slash hook, made his way into the wooded area where he found a black plastic bag. Inside it was a sawn-off shotgun.
Sergeant Andrew O’Riordan told Mr Delaney that he carried out a search at the Road Tramps clubhouse. Inside there was a well-stocked bar, a lounge, meeting room, kitchen and motorbike repair garage.
He found a bullet-proof vest in the lounge and in a safe in the kitchen he discovered e2,500 and seven cans of pepper spray. In a small room off the meeting room he found a pair of jeans with two shotgun cartridges in the pocket. A box he found on a patio contained 30 rounds of ammunition, some of which were so rusted they could not be used.
Outside the building there were several mobile homes, most of which were unlocked and in disrepair. One stuck out because it was locked and seemed clean and well cared for. When he searched inside he found a decommissioned grenade, rounds of ammunition, an improvised firearm and a pipe bomb.
A car on the premises contained a pump action shotgun with two rounds, a balaclava and more pepper spray. He also found a knuckle duster and one knife, plus an "assortment of weapons" including sticks, batons, an axe, a hurl and various piping "all within easy reach around the compound".
Under cross examination the garda told Hugh Hartnett SC, representing Mr McNamara, that he did not know if anyone had been prosecuted in relation to possession of those weapons.
Detective Garda Niall Fitzgerald and Detective Garda Brendan Casey told the court that they arrested each of the accused at a home in Garryowen in Limerick on the evening of June 20, 2015.
Det Gda Fitzgerald also found a typed document inside a red notebook in a bedroom during the search of Mr McNamara’s home. The document contained 41 names alongside phone numbers. The list included the names "Cookie" and "Rob Cusack".
The trial continues in front of Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of seven men and four women.