Accused said he only meant to frighten people

A murder accused told gardaí he feared his stepson would be killed by rival bikers, so he loaded a shotgun and went to a motorcycle clubhouse, where he shot a man dead.

He said he did not intend to kill anyone but was panicking after he was attacked and threats were made against him and his family. He also wanted to frighten the bikers so they would leave his family alone.

Alan ‘Cookie’ McNamara, aged 51, from Mountfune, Murroe, Co Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Andrew ‘AOD’ O’Donoghue on Saturday June 20, 2015, at Mountfune.

Also on trial is Mr McNamara’s stepson Robert Cusack, aged 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.

Sgt Brian O’Connor and Det Garda Niall Fitzgerald told John O’Sullivan, prosecuting, that they interviewed Mr McNamara 17 times at Roxboro Garda Station in Limerick between June 21 and June 25, 2015.

During those interviews, Mr McNamara described how he was attacked the day before the shooting outside Kelly’s pub in Doon, Limerick, by members of the Road Tramps motorcycle club.

When Mr McNamara got home that evening, he said a maroon car pulled up and threatened to burn down his house and kill his family.

Mr McNamara was secretary of the Caballeros club, having left the Road Tramps 15 years earlier.

Mr Cusack was a prospect in the Caballeros in June 2015. The morning after the accused was attacked, Mr McNamara said he woke up “totally out of my mind”.

That afternoon he got a phonecall from Mr Cusack, who told him he had “spotted the Road Tramps” and was following them.

“I thought he was being attacked or something,” said Mr McNamara. “That is when I panicked.”

He said he loaded the gun, put it in the back seat and drove up the road to the Road Tramps clubhouse.

When he arrived, he saw two men and thought they had guns so he grabbed his. As he did, his hand slipped and the gun went off. He said the noise caused him to panic. He stopped the car and got out and said he saw Mr O’Donoghue pointing something at him.

He said: “I thought he had a gun so I fired at him.”

Afterwards he thought, “shit what am I after doing” but was worried that more Road Tramps were coming for him so he tried to reload.

CCTV showed Mr O’Donoghue was carrying an iron bar. Gardaí showed the bar to Mr McNamara and asked if it looks like a gun. He said it did not but he is near-sighted and in the distance he thought it was a gun. Gardaí also put it to him that he could have driven away, but he said he did not want the Road Tramps to kick down his door firing shots. He told gardaí he did not intend to kill anyone but wanted to frighten them, so they would stay away from his family.

Sgt Louise Casey told Hugh Hartnett, defending Mr McNamara, that she was the garda in charge at Roxboro station at various times throughout Mr McNamara’s detention.

She said at one point the accused was emotional and crying and asked her to get him a priest.

“He was in tears and saying how sorry he was,” she added. On another occasion he was crying and said to her: “It’s not right. That man is being waked this evening.”

The trial continues.


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