Tom Brady in the Sunday Independent 20th August 2017
FR NIALL MOLLOY
The acquittal of the late Richard Flynn of the killing of Father Niall Molloy sparked off a controversy that lasted for 30 years after the priest’s death.
Fr Molloy’s body was found in the home of the Flynns at Kilcoursey House in Clara, Co Offaly, on July 8, 1985.
Mr Flynn was charged with manslaughter and assault but at his trial, the late Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to find him not guilty on both counts.
The decision fuelled the nationwide interest in the case and created a flurry of rumours, none of them substantiated, about what had taken place that night in Kilcoursey House.
Since then, further allegations were made about the events and the subsequent Garda investigation into the killing.
A senior counsel, Dominic McGinn, was appointed to take a fresh look and he concluded that, given the passage of time, the death of many 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.
Mr McGinn found that, in light of the confession made by Mr Flynn on a number of occasions to inflicting violence on Fr Molloy, the direct acquittal of Mr Flynn at his trial was extraordinary.
While much criticism had been directed at Judge Roe, a careful reading of an assessment by prosecution counsel of the evidence revealed the decision might have been partly attributable to concessions made by State Pathologist, the late Dr John Harbison, under cross examination, Mr McGinn said.