Shatter orders inquiry into murder of Father Niall Molloy




Justice Minister Alan Shatter
Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Justice Minister has ordered an independent inquiry into the brutal murder of a priest nearly 30 years ago.

Alan Shatter has asked Senior Counsel, Dominic McGinn, to probe the investigation carried out by the gardai into the death of Fr Niall Molloy.

It will focus on a recent Garda review into the cleric’s brutal death.

Fr Molloy was beaten to death after a glitzy wedding in Offaly in 1985.

Officers looking into the vicious attack at the plush mansion of a wealthy socialite couple in 1985 completed a new internal inquiry.

It revealed he died from severe head injuries sustained in the bedroom of the sprawling country home of businessman Richard Flynn.

The bruised and lifeless body of Fr Molloy was discovered in the bedroom of Mr Flynn and the carpet was soaked in an eight foot bloodstain.

Nobody has even been brought to justice for the callous killing of the popular priest.

His family has been tirelessly campaigning for justice since the ‘80s.

Flynn had originally been charged with manslaughter but the trial lasted just one morning after the judge, TF Roe, threw out the case.

Fr Molloy’s family was never happy with the initial investigation.

They claim the charges were dismissed because Molloy had a bad heart but the subsequent inquest found he didn’t.

It was also made out during the court case that Fr Molloy was a heavy drinker and that he was drunk on the night and hit his head.

The family said it was known that Fr Molloy was only a light social drink and he had some drink in his system at the time but only a very small amount.

They have claimed in the Seanad that his murder was “the biggest cover-up in the history of the State”.

They believe certain people hold vital information about his death. They are calling on them now to come forward with that information.

One of Fr Molloy’s nephews, Henry McCourt addressed a crowd on the 27th anniversary of the priest’s passing.

He said: “We are asking anyone who knows anything about Niall’s vicious murder to bring it to us now.

“Our family have been seeking justice and the truth about his death for almost three decades. We have been left with countless unanswered questions.

“The architects of his death and subsequent cover-up know who they are and have been holding dark secrets for many, many years.

“But we will never rest until we find out what happened to Niall and why we have been denied justice for him for so long.”

Barrister to review probe into death of Fr Molloy

Fr Niall Molloy shortly before his death./>
Fr Niall Molloy


A COLD case file on the mysterious death of Fr Niall Molloy (inset) almost 30 years ago is to be examined by barrister Dominic McGinn.


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Mr McGinn, a senior counsel, is to identify if there are any issues of “public interest or concern” in connection with the probe by theGarda Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT), Justice Minister Alan Shatterannounced.

As a result of the SCRT’s report, the Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed last August no new charges would be brought over the death of Fr Molloy.

But campaigners seeking justice for the Co Roscommon priest complained strenuously about the outcome.

Fr Molloy died in suspicious circumstances at a house near Clara, Co Offaly, in July 1985.

Mr Shatter published the terms of reference of Mr McGinn’s independent examination yesterday. The barrister is to “conduct a review” of the SCRT report, the terms state.

In the light of his review, he will prepare a report, which is to be published, “on any issues of public interest which may arise from the SCRT report”.

Mr McGinn will also “identify matters, if any, of significant public interest or concern which would warrant examination by a further inquiry”.

The terms indicate any further probe should have “a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth”.

Mr McGinn is to submit his review, together with a document identifying matters of public interest, to Mr Shatter “as soon as possible”.

While his appointment has not formally taken place, it is understood to be imminent.

When Mr Shatter initially revealed his intention to appoint a barrister, Fr Molloy’s family gave the announcement a guarded welcome.

The priest’s nephew, Bill Maher, said it was “a step in the right direction”, but expressed disappointment it would fall short of the commission of inquiry the family had sought.

The SCRT re-examination took place over the past three years.

Fr Molloy (52) was found beaten to death at the home of his friends Richard and Theresa Flynn in Clara on July 8, 1985.

Businessman Richard Flynn was charged with Fr Molloy’s manslaughter, but at the 1986 trial, Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict — it later emerged the judge was a friend of the Flynns and had written to the then DPP before the trial stating he knew them.

Mr Flynn was acquitted at Dublin Circuit Court following defence counsel assertions the priest could have died from heart failure.

A later inquest found that Fr Molloy died of “sub-dural haemorrhage consistent with having sustained a serious injury to the head”.

Irish Independent

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin……..No reply

Two letters sent by a member of the Molloy family requesting a meeting have been totally ignored by Archbishop Martin. In previous correspondence he said he could not get involved because there was a Garda investigation. When that was concluded his excuse was that the case was now Political and he could not get involved.

Is the Very Reverend Archbishop saying that the Catholic Church does not get involved or express an opinion on matters that might be “Political” ?????????

Minister Alan Shatter………….No reply

A letter sent to Minister Alan Shatter almost a month ago has not been replied to. A letter was sent on behalf of the family to the Minister on November the 7th requesting a meeting with him to discuss my uncle Niall’s case following his statement on Nov. 5th.

However the Department of Justice did contact a Journalist stating that the Minister was considering if it would be useful to meet the family.


A further letter was sent to the Minister on December 2nd. Below is part of that letter which also has not been even acknowledged :-


“Having considered your statement which had been provided to the media, I emailed you at the Department of Justice on the 7th of November last, seeking a meeting with you in relation to the matter, and I requested an acknowledgement of my email. To date, I have not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement of my email, but the Roscommon Herald has since been informed by the Department of Justice that the Department had received a request from the family for a meeting and that you were considering whether such a meeting would be “useful”. Clearly the media are deemed to be more important than the family of Niall Molloy in Government circles.

I trust that you have by now concluded your consideration of the proposal for such a meeting, and accordingly I await hearing from you. ”