Minister expects report on Fr. Molloy case “shortly” – Naughten
Monday 11th March 2013
Justice Minister Alan Shatter informed Denis Naughten in the Dáil last week that he expects to have the Garda report on the cold case review into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy “shortly”.
Denis Naughten, who has raised the issue in the Dáil on numerous occasions over the last decade, said: “This review has been on-going for the last 30 months and it was to have been on the Minister’s desk months ago.
“These delays are not good enough as it seems that the report into the Garda investigation is being dragged out to long finger any independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Molloy.
“The family of Fr. Molloy and the public as a whole have a right to answers and they have already waited too long to get them
“The Minister must ensure that this report is completed forthwith and a copy provided to the Molloy family as soon as possible,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Editor’s Note: Please find below copy of Dáil reply on the matter.
QUESTION NOS: 194 & 22
DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
forORAL ANSWER on Wednesday, 6th March, 2013.
* 194. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if there will be an independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy in Clara, County Offaly..
– Finian McGrath
22. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 8 of 20 June 2012, the current status of the Garda review of the murder of Fr. Niall Molloy in Clara, County Offaly, in July 1985; if he will accede to the request by the family for an independent inquiry into the priest’s violent death; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Denis Naughten
I am advised by the Garda authorities that the examination surrounding the circumstances of the death of Father Niall Molloy is almost complete and that a report of this examination will be submitted to the Commissioner in the coming weeks. Upon receipt of a report from the Commissioner I will review the situation.
I understand that the officers carrying out the examination are continuing to keep the family members of the deceased updated on progress. While I fully appreciate the concerns of the family, in any case where criminal behaviour is suspected it is only through a Garda investigation, and where evidence of criminal wrongdoing is available through the submission of a file by the Gardaí to the Director of Public Prosecutions, that persons can be brought fully to account.
Therefore, I hope that the Deputy will agree that, in the first instance, we need to allow the present Garda examination to proceed to its conclusion.
The Independent TD said there was an “ongoing scandal surrounding the priest’s unresolved murder” and that “all of the evidence points to a high-level cover-up of his death involving all institutions of the State, including elements of the gardai, the judiciary, politicians, the health service and the Catholic Church”.
The TD said the case “was fundamental to the pursuit of justice in our country in 2013” and that the Government “had to get to the bottom of the sordid affair”.
Fr Niall Molloy (52) was beaten to death in the Offaly mansion of his friends Therese and Richard Flynn in 1985 after a society party attended by senior members of Fianna Fail.
Three neuropathologists who examined his brain said he was left bleeding for up to six hours before help was sought.
Mr McGrath told the Dail that the priest’s watch was cracked and stopped at 10.40pm, but that the gardai were not contacted until 3.15am.
“What was happening during these vital hours?” he asked.
Calling for a “short, sharp independent inquiry”, the deputy said the initial garda probe was “a total shambles”.
Mr Kenny said he would “bring the facts raised to the attention of Minister (Alan) Shatter,” who is currently on tour in the Middle East.