– Family to step up campaign for commission of investigation
The family of murdered Castlecoote priest Fr Niall Molloy is set to step up its campaign for an independent commission of investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death 28 years ago.
The decision comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recently advised Gardai that no prosecutions would arise out of a cold case review carried out by them on foot of new evidence and information.
The review of issues raised about Fr Molloy’s brutal death on July 8th 1985 at Kilcoursey House in Clara, County Offaly was instigated in 2010.
Senior members of An Garda Siochana met with representatives of the Molloy family last week to confirm that the review had been completed and that the file was forwarded to the office of the DPP.
Detective Chief Superintendent Padraig Kennedy and Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan informed nephews of Fr Molloy, Henry McCourt and Bill Maher, that the DPP had advised that no prosecutions would follow from the review.
While the family are disappointed that the Garda review will not lead to any prosecutions they say that the decision has now cleared the way for an independent commission of investigation.
“We’re happy that it is now finished and that it will not go on for another six months or more. A decision has now been made and we can now move on to push for an independent commission of investigation,” Henry McCourt, a nephew of Fr Molloy told the Herald.
Mr McCourt intends to write to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, and TDs in counties Roscommon, Offaly and throughout the country, this week to seek a commission of investigation.
He also intends to seek the support of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for such an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the 52-year-old cleric in 1985.
Mr McCourt, a practising solicitor, explained that under the 2004 Commissions of Investigation Act a government minister could seek the support of the Dail to “investigate any matter considered by the Government to be of significant public concern”.
“Now is the time for politicians to indicate which way they are going to go. I think that individually there is quite a bit of support but what would concern me is that the party line could be taken and scupper any chances of getting an investigation,” Mr McCourt said.
He said that the case would “not go away” and that too many important questions remained unanswered 28 years on.
“For a certain sector of the population it is probably too long ago and it’s probably a concern that it would cost money in the current economic climate but we want an independent commission of investigation not a public inquiry,” Mr McCourt said.
“There is so much in this sad and sorry case that it’s very important to have an investigation; there are many important questions that need to be answered from a civilised society point of view,” he added.
Roscommon Herald 20/8/2013