Fr Niall Molloy case mentioned in the Dáil yesterday

Earlier this week, GSOC issued a scathing report into the deficiencies in the investigation of the death of Fr. Niall Molloy, which occurred in 1985. In 2015, the Fine Gael-Labour Party Government backed the DPP decision not to have a new inquiry into his death. Some 33 years on, his family and many people in County Roscommon are not happy. The programme for Government talks about a fair society for all.

In light of the GSOC report, which was released on Monday, I have two questions and I do not mind if the Taoiseach or the Minister for Justice and Equality answers. Can they inform the House if an investigation is ongoing into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy? Due to the seriousness of the information in the report that documents have gone missing, what does the Government intend to do now in relation to this case?

I assure the House, and the Deputy in particular, that there still is an ongoing Garda investigation into what is an open file. In the event that Deputy Murphy or any of his constituents have any information that might assist the gardaí in processing the issue further, I trust that the information will be forthcoming. I acknowledge the independent review undertaken by Dominic McGinn SC in recent times. As it is independent of Government, I do not have any grounds at this stage to take matters any further. It is the subject of a live and active Garda investigation.

Written question from Denis Naughten T.D.

QUESTION NO:  329
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 10th November, 2015.  

 
 *  To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to her meeting with the family of a person (details supplied) in July 2015, if she will report on the progress to date on the issues raised at that meeting; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis NaughtenFr Niall Molloy  
REPLY.

As the Deputy will be aware, I agreed to reflect on the issues which the family in question raised at the meeting referred to, and I can advise him that I expect to contact the persons concerned directly in the near future.

 

Fr Molloy. Dail debate yesterday

[Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn] The Minister talks about public opinion. There is a significant public view that the Minister for Justice and Equality and her colleague, the Taoiseach, for reasons to do with political opportunism, embraced one particular case and ignored many families. Has the Minister or her predecessor, Deputy Alan Shatter, ever received correspondence from families alleging that their loved ones have been murdered or killed and that there was a cover-up or incompetence? If the Minister has received such correspondence, has she refused to meet the families in question?

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed When one is in a hole, one should stop digging.

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In some of these cases, the families have concerns about serious crime. Any case involving allegations such as those the Deputy described has been referred to a review mechanism. I have made this very clear and the Deputy knows the facts. In such cases I have to take into account the fact that an independent panel has been established to investigate and review cases, examine correspondence and assess whether further action is needed. It is not appropriate for me, as Minister for Justice and Equality, to meet the families at the same time. I have made this clear to them and Members of the House who have corresponded with me about cases. As regards meeting people who believe they have been subject to injustices in the criminal justice system, there is a list of people whom I felt it was right to meet in the public interest. However, if there is another process in place, for example, in the case of Fr. Niall Molloy, it would be inappropriate for me to have parallel meetings at the same time. It would also be inappropriate for me to do so if court processes are under way, which is the case in a number of cases.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn I find the Minister’s response incredible. She is Minister for Justice and Equality. In the neighbouring jurisdiction an investigation was carried out by the PSNI and, unfortunately, the case did not go to court. It is under independent review regarding the DPP’s role in it. As the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland is investigating the matters involved, there is an independent review mechanism, yet the Minister could not get in quickly enough to make a public statement where there was a political opportunity to cast a slur against my party. I will not read the requests from the many families who allege their loved ones, in the State for which the Minister is responsible, were murdered and that there were cover-ups in their cases and who want to meet the Minister but cannot do so. Where is the consistency in how the Minister makes decisions on families? How can she so clearly make a statement on one case in the North of Ireland but engage in no commentary on cases in the State for which she is responsible? The accusations levelled against her by the families and many others were of blatant political opportunism and inconsistency in her approach to victims alleging the commission of the most heinous crime of murder in the State.

Dáil question today

QUESTION NO: 442

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Charles Flanagan
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 30th April, 2013.

* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has already received, or if not, if he will request as a matter of urgency the report of the formal review by the Garda Serious Crime Review team in to a murder enquiry (details supplied) in 1985 in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Charles Flanagan(Details Fr Niall Molloy death at Clara ) 
REPLY.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 is expected to be submitted to the Commissioner sometime in May. 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.