What happened on the night of 8th July 1985 and is it still being covered up?
At a meeting of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, convened to hear the views of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on all aspects of crime, TD Finian McGrath tried to raise the case of Fr.Niall Molloy. He was ruled out of order by chair David Stanton (FG TD Cork East). The committee went into closed session excluding media, Gardaí and public. Shortly afterwards McGrath was seen storming out and the committee went back to interviewing Callinan.
BACKGROUND: The Molloy case is one of intrigue with not a little conspiracy thrown in to the mix. Fr. Molloy died in Kilcoursey House, Clara, Co. Offaly. A native of Roscommon, and later parish priest in Castlecoote of that county, Fr. Molloy went into business with his childhood friend Theresa Flynn. Following an inheritance of £60,000 (from his father an Irish Senator) Molloy, who had a room in the Flynn’s mansion, invested in land and horses with the Flynns.
On the night of the Flynn’s daughter Maureen’s wedding a row is thought to have broken out over money. It culminated in the priest suffering repeated punches and kicks to the head which killed him. Gardaí found signs of a struggle and bloodstains on the carpet. However, Richard Flynn was brought to trial for the manslaughter and this is when things began to unravel.
Just four hours into the hearing Flynn’s defence argued that the priest could have suffered a heart attack. Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to dismiss the trial with a verdict of not guilty. The coroner’s report was not seen.
Martin Cahill, The General, famously stole files from the DPP’s office. The files on this case were included in that robbery. The murdered journalist, Veronica Guerin, came into possession of the files and published details which made clear that the Judge Frank Roe had a conflict of interest in the case as he regarded the Flynns as his “great friends”.
Other astonishing details have come to light in recent years. The family were not alone that night, guests in the house include a Fianna Fail politician (regarded as a household name), also a surgeon – which is worrisome as it is believed the victim was left to die for six hours before help was called. Furthermore, shortly after his death Fr.Molloy’s racehorse and a painting disappeared. As investigations continued, largely by the Irish Independent, it became clear that Gardaí contaminated evidence and didn’t interview witnesses. Justice James O’Sullivan spoke out in retirement that while he had considered Judge Roe a friend and an honourable man, he was shocked to see him take a case where the defendant was a ‘great friend’ of the bench. Equally he was disappointed to see the Judge interfere in an obvious miscarriage of justice.
It is widely believed in the midlands that Richard Flynn was not the killer, and the Molloy family are of that mind also. A suspect is known to the public. In recent times squads of detectives have become involved and then the investigation comes to a halt. There is something very rotten at the heart of this. It could be Ireland’s biggest cover-up, ranking alongside the corruption of Haughey and Ahern but with the blood of at least one man at it’s centre. Who do you have to know to cover up the murder of a Senator’s son?
UPDATE: Gemma O’Doherty, formerly of the Irish Independent, investigated the Molloy murder case most recently. Her investigations led to the Gardaí reopening the case in 2010. But in August 2013 the DPP decided not to prosecute despite ‘the dogs in the street’ of Roscommon knowing who is responsible for this murder and alleged cover-up. Garda comment went as follows: ‘The death of Fr Molloy has been fully investigated, a file was prepared and submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions and a direction given. An Garda Síochána have no further comment to make.’
Within a month (Aug. 22nd ’13) O’Doherty was on Drivetime with Audrey Carville:
O’Doherty: Much of the evidence that I handed over to the guards showed that the original investigation was profoundly flawed. We know that evidence was contaminated, we know that witness statements were not carried out in a way that was appropriate. And I really did hope that, as more importantly the family did, and the Irish public that there would be truth, justice and accountability in this. That was three years ago. And we now have this decision from the DPP that no charges will be brought. Now, both the family and myself and people in Clara and Roscommon, we are very happy that the Garda Síochána are out of this case because we cannot have a situation in this country where Gardaí are investigating Gardaí.”
Carville: “And this is an issue because you mentioned ‘The General’ Martin Cahill. There are reports, it has been reported in the past that the Gardaí did a deal with Martin Cahill and another criminal, John Traynor, in exchange for that file on Fr Molloy.”
O’Doherty: “Correct. The State authorities were so desperate to get this file back that they did a deal with Martin Cahill and dropped charges against his associate John Traynor, one of the most wanted criminals in this State.The file was returned, the family were informed of that.”
Carville: “And have the Gardaí ever responded to those allegations.”
O’Doherty: “No, I mean I, and other media, and the family have been asking Martin Callinan for almost two years to please explain this Garda deal which Paul Williams has written about, Veronica Guerin wrote about. It is in the public domain and has been so, for many, many years. But the Garda Síochána fail to inform the public, which is their duty about the detail of this deal and why the State was so desperate to get the Fr Molloy file back.”
Within a month of this O’Doherty had been fired* and the Irish media remains stony-faced. Not a peep. It now emerges that during that September GSOC (The Garda Ombudsman) employed a private security firm to sweep it’s offices for bugs. The security experts found 3 breaches, including telephone listening devices and wifi hacks.
There is something very rotten here.
Fr.Molloy’s nephew Bill Maher in his blog Campaign for Justice for Niall Molloy on Jan 16th 2014 writes:
Fr. Molloy. Cold Case Unit – 5th Anniversary
Just for the record it is five years, this month, since I first made contact with a detective from the Cold Case Unit.
I was informed in Sept 2009 that Niall’s case “was not currently under review”
It was only in Feb 2010 when I informed the Unit, by email, that I had meetings with Garda Ombudsman’s Office that things started to happen. Within Hours of sending my email I was contacted by phone by a senior member of the Cold Case unit to arrange a meeting for the following Friday.
So here we are after five years of work by the elite squad of our National Police Force.
STILL WAITING FOR ANSWERS
* Gemma O’Doherty had been investigating the quashing of Driving Offences (penalty points) and in particular alleged quashing of Irish Independent Editor Stephen Rae (her boss) and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan when she was fired. She is now suing Rae and the Independent for defamation. (O’Doherty won an undisclosed settlement in this case in January 2015)
UPDATE (31/03/2015): The Garda inquiry into the the death of Fr.Niall Molloy has been vindicated. The Garda Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT) investigated, sent a file to the DPP who has directed no charges be brought. The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald does not believe further inquiry would be warranted in the public interest.