Man cleared of Fr Molloy murder dies after illness

Richard Flynn leaving court in September 1985

The only man ever charged over the death of Roscommon priest Father Niall Molloy was laid to rest in Co Westmeath.

The Galway native was laid to rest beside his late wife Theresa in Tubberclair Cemetery following midday Funeral Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair, Glasson, Co Westmeath.

The acquittal of Mr Flynn of the killing of Fr Molloy sparked a controversy that lasted 30 years after the priest’s death.

Fr Molloy’s body was found in the home of Richard and Theresa Flynn at Kilcoursey House in Clara, Co Offaly, on July 8, 1985.

After a lengthy investigation a garda file was sent to the director of public prosecutions and Mr Flynn was charged with manslaughter and assault.

Father Niall Molloy22
Father Niall Molloy

But at his trial, the late Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to find Mr Flynn not guilt on both counts. The decision fuelled the nationwide interest that already existed in the case and created a flurry of rumours, none of them substantiated, about what had taken place that night.

Since then, further allegations have been made about the events and the subsequent garda investigation.

The fresh outcry prompted garda authorities to appoint members of the serious crime review team, or cold case unit, to carry out a review of the case.

The government then appointed senior counsel, Dominic McGinn, to take a fresh look at the review and he concluded that, given the passage of time, the death of so many pertinent witnesses and the reluctance of others to give evidence, it was unlikely that any further inquiry would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth.

Irish Independent

Only man ever charged over priest’s death laid to rest

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/only-man-ever-charged-over-priest-s-death-laid-to-rest-1.2982865?utm_content=sf-man

The only man ever charged over the death of Roscommon priest Fr Niall Molloy was buried in Co Westmeath on Monday.

Richard Flynn, who was in his late 80s, died at a nursing home in Ballymahon, Co Longford, following a lengthy illness.

The Galway native was buried next to his late wife Theresa in TubberclairCemetery following midday funeral Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair, Glasson, Co Westmeath.

Fr Molloy (52) was found dead in Theresa and Richard Flynn’s home at Kilcoursey House, Clara, Co Offaly on July 8th, 1985. A friend of the Flynns, Fr Molloy had earlier attended the family home for their daughter’s wedding.

Mr Flynn was later tried for the priest’s manslaughter and assault and was acquitted on all charges after Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to find him not guilty.

Rugby career

Mr Flynn’s son David was tearful as he described his father as his best friend. He also spoke of his fathers sporting prowess, how he had captained both the junior and senior rugby teams while attending boarding school in Roscrea.

Mr Flynn went on to captain Connacht before an injury ended his rugby career when he was 25, he recalled.

David said his father had planned to emigrate to the United States but met and married his late wife in 1955 and stayed in Ireland.

Mr Flynn’s daughter Maureen spoke of an “amazing childhood” in Tubber where “the table was always set, the fridge was always full and Richard was always at the door wide open; a big greeting for everybody”.

She likened the farm to “going to an amusement park except it was just farming” and she recalled the wonderful childhood they had.

“Mum and Dad’s pals came for dinner constantly . . . we took it for granted all the coming and going and no matter how late at night Daddy would be at the door making sure everybody got to their car, directing them out the gate,” she told the mourners.

Family traditions

Maureen recalled as children not being allowed to fight. Her father would say, “Now, now little children love one another. We didn’t really know what it meant but it kind of stopped us somehow.”

After Mr Flynn’s wife died, he took it upon himself to keep the family traditions going, “the open house everything, the warmth and the love, the homeliness,” she added.

Mr Flynn’s grandchildren presented gifts at the beginning of the Mass. They included a photograph to show his love of family, a rugby ball as a token of his passion for sport, an Irish book to show his love of the language and a radio to indicate his love of current affairs and music.

He is survived by his second wife Ann, son David and daughters Maureen, Anita and Sandra.

Funeral of suspect in 1985 priest death case

http://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0220/853970-flynn-death-offaly-molloy/

 

The funeral is taking place of Richard Flynn, the Offaly man accused of the manslaughter of Father Niall Molloy at his home in Kilcoursey, Clara on 8 July 1985.

Mr Flynn and his wife Theresa were questioned by gardaí after the death of the Roscommon priest in the bedroom of their home in Co Offaly but the manslaughter charges against him never proceeded after a judge withdrew the case from a trial jury in June 1986.

Mr Flynn had been ill for several years and died over the weekend. His funeral is being held today in Tubberclair, Co Westmeath.

His remains will be interred afterwards beside those of his wife Theresa Flynn.