A Northern Irishman accused of a credit union robbery that involved the shooting of a Lake Garda has been denied bail because he poses a risk of absconding.
Ames Flynn, 31, appeared before the Special Criminal Court today to apply for bail, having previously been denied three separate applications while in detention in the UK before being extradited to Ireland.
He is charged with the robbery at Lordship Credit Union in Dundalk, Co Louth on January 25, 2013 in which Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, 41, was shot dead.
Mr Flynn, of Ravensglen in Newry, Co Down, is also accused of conspiracy to commit a burglary in four boroughs between September 2012 and January 2013.
He is scheduled to stand trial before the non-jury court in January and filed a bail petition before the three judges today.
Gardaí objected, arguing that James Flynn posed a risk of absconding and that there was a possibility that witnesses would be obstructed if he was granted bail.
Det Insp Mark Phillips told the court the accused was living near Dundalk at the time of the robbery but has not been sighted in the Republic of Ireland since April 2013.
He said Mr Flynn traveled to the United States that month and was followed shortly thereafter by Aaron Brady, who was convicted of the 2020 Det Gda Donohoe capital murder and credit union robbery.
The lead detective also said that James Flynn was a close associate of Aaron Brady and that they were effectively “living out of each other’s pockets” at the time of the robbery.
Det Insp Phillips told prosecutors Lorcan Staines SC that the defendant has the financial means to evade justice and has no ties to that jurisdiction.
He said it was his “firm belief” that Mr Flynn posed a “serious flight risk” if released on bail. The court heard that his parents, wife and children all live in Northern Ireland.
Citing the nature and strength of the evidence, Det Insp Phillips said Mr Flynn was “inseparable from the events in the days before, on the day and in the days after the robbery”.
Gardaí also refused bail for witness interference.
Evidence was presented that during the Aaron Brady murder trial attempts were made to disrupt the jury and witnesses, while efforts were also made to “actively provoke” members of the investigative team.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney John Temple BL, the detective accepted that James Flynn was out of jurisdiction at the time and was not being charged by Gardaí investigating obstruction of witnesses.
Presiding Judge Tara Burns said that “very, very worrying” and “terrible” evidence of alleged interference during the murder trial was presented.
She added that this could not be determined to be linked to James Flynn and that while there are “serious concerns” about the possibility of witness interference, the case has not been answered to refuse bail on these grounds.
However, the court said it could not accept that the applicant was “anything but a flight risk” based on the evidence presented.
She denied the motion, saying the court believed Mr Flynn posed a flight risk and that it was likely he would not keep a trail if bail was granted.
Members of the Flynn family were in court at today’s hearing.
An application for legal aid is expected to be heard in court next week.
He is scheduled to stand trial in January alongside co-defendant Brendan Treanor in a non-jury trial.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/northern-irishman-charged-with-credit-union-robbery-during-which-garda-was-shot-dead-a-flight-risk-court-told-42119734.html Northern Irishman charged with robbery of a credit union in which Garda was shot, a “fugitive risk,” the court said