Statement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence on the Fr Molloy case

Statement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence on the Fr
Molloy case

In late 2010, following media reporting and representations made on behalf
of the family of the late Fr Molloy, a major examination was initiated
under the direction of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.  This involved
an extensive examination of the original investigation into his death as
well as detailed enquiries into issues subsequently raised.  During the
period of the Team’s investigation additional issues were also raised and
all of these have been the subject of examination and investigation by the
Review Team.   The Team’s report was submitted to the Director of Public
Prosecutions earlier this year.   She subsequently advised that, on the
basis of the papers provided, there be no further prosecution in this
matter.  Subsequently, the Garda Commissioner submitted a report to me on
the matter.

Upon assuming office as Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, because
of my knowledge of issues raised, I emphasised the importance of all such
issues being comprehensively examined and investigated and I welcome the
fact that the case has been reviewed extensively by the Garda Serious Crime
Review Team.  The Director of Public Prosecutions has now determined that
no further prosecution should be taken arising out of the death of Fr
Molloy.  Many claims have been made regarding the death of Fr Molloy, and I
am anxious to put as much information into the public domain as is possible
and appropriate in order to address these claims.  However, it is not open
to me to publish the Report of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team. First,
it is, quite properly, not the practice to publish Garda reports of
criminal investigations and second, the report contains unsubstantiated
allegations against named persons.

I am conscious that to leave the matter at that would allow baseless
assertions to be made that the Government has some interest in suppressing
information about this case when, in fact, what is at issue is having due
regard to the rule of law; the independence of the Office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions; and protecting the rights of all.

In the circumstances, I informed the Cabinet today that I am consulting
with the Attorney General with a view to the appointment of a Senior
Counsel to conduct an independent examination of the Report of the Serious
Crime Review Team into this case.  In the light of this examination the
Senior Counsel will be asked to do two things.

1. To prepare a report which can be put into the public domain on
any issues of public interest which may arise from the report, having
regard to the rights of all those involved.

2.  To identify whether there are matters of significant public
concern arising from this examination and, if so, whether any form of
further inquiry, aside from the criminal investigation, would have a
reasonable prospect of establishing the truth of such matters and would be
warranted in the public interest, taking into account the fact that it is
the function of the criminal justice system to investigate criminal acts.

I am taking this step solely in the interests of transparency and of
bringing the advice of an independent person into consideration of this
matter.  I should emphasise that it does not imply in any way that I am
dissatisfied with the work undertaken by the Garda Serious Crime Review
Team.

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