Preliminary Post Mortem on Fr Niall Molloy

Fr Niall Molloy   PM July 8th July 1985

 

1 subdural Haemorrage associated with bruising to right eye socket

 

 

2 Slight enlargement of left ventricle of heart associated with a mild to moderate degree of atheroma of coronary arteries – insufficient to cause death.

 

OPINION

Death primarily the result of No 1 head injury

 

Pathological opinions on the cause of Pulmonary Oedema

 

 

No 2 Above might be at varience with a ‘ Cerebral Lung’ explanation e.g. inhalation of vomit , no evidence on clothes or at scene or heart disease – not severe.

 

Further investigation : Micropsy for evidence of hypertension

 

2 Neuropathological opinion on brain. Report in early August ‘85

 

Signed

 

( Harbison’s Signature 8th / July / 1985 )

 

Only man ever charged over priest’s death laid to rest

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/only-man-ever-charged-over-priest-s-death-laid-to-rest-1.2982865?utm_content=sf-man

The only man ever charged over the death of Roscommon priest Fr Niall Molloy was buried in Co Westmeath on Monday.

Richard Flynn, who was in his late 80s, died at a nursing home in Ballymahon, Co Longford, following a lengthy illness.

The Galway native was buried next to his late wife Theresa in TubberclairCemetery following midday funeral Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair, Glasson, Co Westmeath.

Fr Molloy (52) was found dead in Theresa and Richard Flynn’s home at Kilcoursey House, Clara, Co Offaly on July 8th, 1985. A friend of the Flynns, Fr Molloy had earlier attended the family home for their daughter’s wedding.

Mr Flynn was later tried for the priest’s manslaughter and assault and was acquitted on all charges after Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to find him not guilty.

Rugby career

Mr Flynn’s son David was tearful as he described his father as his best friend. He also spoke of his fathers sporting prowess, how he had captained both the junior and senior rugby teams while attending boarding school in Roscrea.

Mr Flynn went on to captain Connacht before an injury ended his rugby career when he was 25, he recalled.

David said his father had planned to emigrate to the United States but met and married his late wife in 1955 and stayed in Ireland.

Mr Flynn’s daughter Maureen spoke of an “amazing childhood” in Tubber where “the table was always set, the fridge was always full and Richard was always at the door wide open; a big greeting for everybody”.

She likened the farm to “going to an amusement park except it was just farming” and she recalled the wonderful childhood they had.

“Mum and Dad’s pals came for dinner constantly . . . we took it for granted all the coming and going and no matter how late at night Daddy would be at the door making sure everybody got to their car, directing them out the gate,” she told the mourners.

Family traditions

Maureen recalled as children not being allowed to fight. Her father would say, “Now, now little children love one another. We didn’t really know what it meant but it kind of stopped us somehow.”

After Mr Flynn’s wife died, he took it upon himself to keep the family traditions going, “the open house everything, the warmth and the love, the homeliness,” she added.

Mr Flynn’s grandchildren presented gifts at the beginning of the Mass. They included a photograph to show his love of family, a rugby ball as a token of his passion for sport, an Irish book to show his love of the language and a radio to indicate his love of current affairs and music.

He is survived by his second wife Ann, son David and daughters Maureen, Anita and Sandra.

Funeral of suspect in 1985 priest death case

http://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0220/853970-flynn-death-offaly-molloy/

 

The funeral is taking place of Richard Flynn, the Offaly man accused of the manslaughter of Father Niall Molloy at his home in Kilcoursey, Clara on 8 July 1985.

Mr Flynn and his wife Theresa were questioned by gardaí after the death of the Roscommon priest in the bedroom of their home in Co Offaly but the manslaughter charges against him never proceeded after a judge withdrew the case from a trial jury in June 1986.

Mr Flynn had been ill for several years and died over the weekend. His funeral is being held today in Tubberclair, Co Westmeath.

His remains will be interred afterwards beside those of his wife Theresa Flynn.

Who did call the Doctor for Fr. Molloy ?

Dr O’Sullivan from Kilbeggan was the Dr. who was called to Kilcoursey House to attend to Niall on the night of his terrible death. There is no doubt that O’Sullivan was in the house that night BUT there seems to be a lot of confusion as to who actually called him.

 

Within a week of Niall’s death my late brother Ian Maher called to see Dr Dan O’Sullivan in his home. Dr O’Sullivan was the Flynn family doctor and  was a friend of the family as well as Niall.In an interview with a reporter at the time Ian said ” Dr. Dan told me the first thing he knew was at about 1.15a.m., and this is very vivid in my mind, he said that he had forgotten to switch the telephone from the surgery up to the bedroom and at about a quarter past one – he was very specific about that -the front door was hammered on very loudly. It was David” recalled Ian Maher

” I didn’t know who David was even at this stage”

Ian then went to the Tyrellspass Hotel and I spoke to him on the phone. He told me about his conversation with the Dr. and asked me if I knew who David Flynn was. I had not heard of him before that night.

In the interview Ian continued “Then I rang the Gardai.  I rang   Garda Michael Fox  and told him about my conversation with Dr. Dan. And he said ” Say that again.” Ian replied ” the first person to call to Dr O’Sullivan’s house was David.’ Ian asked him who David was and he said ‘that’s Richard Flynn’s son.’

At the Inquest Dr O’Sullivan denied that he had told Ian Maher that David Flynn had called him that night. He said that when he opened the door that night Fr. Deignan was there with one of the Flynn daughters. It was about 1:50 am

FROM THE INQUEST

183. Was David Flynn at the door ?

 – No

184. Didn’t you tell Ian Maher that David Flynn was the first one who woke you up ?

 – No.

10.2.4 Report of Dominic McGinn     Page 64

” He ( David Flynn ) insisted that it was his father who called Dr, O’Sullivan to the scene “

 

At about 2:00am I was called by Fr Duignan and Miss Zanda Flynn, Clara, and  asked to come to Miss Flynn’s home at Clara to attend Father Molloy. She said that he was dead——————— Dr O’Sullivan, Statement

The Gardai never picked up on these contradictions. Nor have Journalists who have gone through all the papers as I have. My late brother Ian was NEVER called as a witness despite all the valuable information he gave to the Gardai. There is no statement from him in the Book of Evidence. Why was he excluded ?

SO WHO DID CALL THE DOCTOR THAT NIGHT ?

 

 

 

There are other major contradictions in the statements from various witnesses. None of which seem to have been examined in any detail. I will be posting more in the coming days.

Fr Molloy family submission to Minister for Justice Ist. July 2015

Summary of Report of Mr. Dominic McGinn S.C.

Direct quotation from Report as indicated; emphasis added.

Page 9. Garda Arrival at the Scene.

Fr. Deignan stated that Niall Molloy had fallen against a wall and had hit his head.

“He said that it was a terrible scandal in the parish and asked if there was any way

in which it could be kept quiet.

Page 10 Garda Arrival at the Scene continued.

“Sergeant Forde was of the view that Richard Flynn appeared calm, cool and

unconcerned. He had a cup of coffee in one hand and his other arm was stretched

along the couch on which he was sitting.”

Page 11 Garda Arrival at the Scene continued.

“There is no information about what, if anything, Teresa Flynn said to the medical

staff or about any clinical findings which may have been reached following

examination.”

Page 12 Post Mortem Examination.

Dr. Harbison “saw blood staining on the thick carpet on the floor which he estimated

to be over a distance of eight to nine feet. The staining nearest the body was dark

and appeared to have been due to direct bleeding on the surface, but the remainder

was fainter and suggested a smear or a wipe.”                                        Appendix 1.

Pages 12 & 13 Post Mortem Examination continued.

“Dr. Harbison spoke to Inspector Monaghan who provided him with further

information about events in the house the previous night and to Dr. O’ Sullivan.

There is a complete absence of information in the documentation about what exactly

was discussed during either of these conversations or how the details supplied may

have affected Dr. Harbison’s approach to the examination.”           Appendix 2.

 

Page 13 Post Mortem Examination continued.

Dr. Harbison noted “six different areas of injury to the head and three areas of

injury to the legs. The nasal cartilage was slightly more mobile than normal.

There was internal bleeding in the head.”

 

Page 14 Post Mortem Examination continued.

Dr. Harbison stated “the distribution of these injuries were consistent with Fr. Molloy

having been the recipient of five, six or more blows from an object such as a fist.

Dr. Harbison also noted that there was no injury of a defensive or offensive nature

on Fr. Molloy’s arms or hands.”                                                                      Appendix 3.

Page 16 Examination of the Scene.

“It seems that there was some attempt at looking at the pattern of the blood spatters,

some of which blood appeared to be diluted or watery, but there were no detailed

notes of this and there is no record of any conclusions being drawn from the

pattern of blood.”

This aspect of the investigation is particularly frustrating because, subsequently,

there was considerable conjecture about what may or may not have occurred at

Kilcoursey House and a full and careful analysis of the pattern of blood spatters

might have assisted in confirming or dismissing some of the suggested theories.

However, at this remove, all that can be said is that there was no meaningful

interpretation performed at the time and that, therefore, there is no evidence from

which firm conclusions could now safely be drawn.”

 

Pages 16 & 17 Examination of the Scene continued.

“There is no record to show whether any of these items was analysed at all.”

 

Page 20 Statements from Non-Family Members.

Fr. James Deignan “recalled that he had been contacted at about 1am by Richard

Flynn.” Sergeant Forde confirmed that Fr. Deignan called to Sergeant Forde’s

house at 3.15 a.m, more than two hours later.

 

Page 21 Statements from Non-Family Members continued.

Dr. O’ Sullivan found the body to be “quite warm” and concluded that Fr. Molloy

“appeared to be only dead a short time” on his arrival. “Dr. O’Sullivan confirmed that

he was contacted by Fr. Deignan and JJ Flynn at about 2.00 a.m.”

 

Page 25 Background Evidence.

“Some documentation relating to this transaction has subsequently been

recovered by the Gardai and this is addressed later in this Report. However,

there is no statement from Mr. PP at all.” Appendix 4.

 

Page 42 Medical Commentary.

“By letter of the 6th of October 1988, Fr. Niall Molloy’s nephew QQ, acting in his

2.

capacity as administrator of his uncle’s estate, formally requested the Garda

Commissioner to re-open the investigation into Fr. Molloy’s death. Part of the

basis for this request was new medical evidence which had emerged. QQ enclosed

with his letter Reports from Professor Dermot Hourihane and Dr. John Dinn.”

“In a Report dated the 20th of October 1987, Professor Hourihane, a Professor of

Histopathology at Trinity College and a Consultant Histopathologist at St.

James’s Hospital in Dublin, ventured an opinion that the anatomical evidence of

injury was very strongly suggestive that Fr. Molloy had received kicks as well as

punches and that he had lived for hours rather than minutes after the injuries

were first received. He based these opinions on a review of the transcripts of the

medical evidence from the inquest, in addition to Dr. John Harbison’s autopsy report

and record of histological findings.”                                                              Appendix 5.

 

Page 43 Doctor John Dinn.

“Dr. John Dinn, a Consultant Neuropathologist at St. James’s Hospital and

Senior Lecturer in Neuropathology at Trinity College, was also provided with the

transcript of Dr. Harbison’s evidence at the inquest along with the depositions of Dr.

Harbison and Dr. Gilsenan, the Coroner’s Report, the opinion of Professor Hourihane,

the histology slides, and two books of Garda photographs. In his Report dated the

16th of September 1988, he detailed the pathological findings in respect of Fr.

Molloy’s brain and agreed with Dr. Harbison’s conclusions in respect of the cause

of death. He went further in setting out the quantity of bleeding within the skull

and opined that this accumulation of blood would not occur with one hour, as

was implied in the statements of evidence. Dr. Dinn asserted that there was

corrobation for this conclusion in the findings from the histology slides which showed

histological changes which take from one to three hours to develop. In conclusion,

Dr. Dinn contended that Fr. Molloy did not die suddenly following the head

trauma but that he was alive and unconscious for more than one hour after the

injuries had been inflicted.”

 

Page 44 Doctor John Harbison.

“Dr. Harbison did concede that he was unable to rebut Dr. Dinn’s assertion that

the changes in the neurones which were seen under microscopic examination

would have required more than one hour between injury and death to have

become visible.”

 

Page 64 David Flynn.

“On being asked about a number of specific issues, David Flynn denied any

knowledge about Fr. Molloy’s watch, about the broken glass table, about any safe

in the house, about any life insurance policy Fr. Molloy may have had, or about the

break in at Fr. Molloy’s home.”

3.

 

Page 65 David Flynn.

“On the 19th of December 2012, David Flynn again met Detective Superintendent

Mangan on a voluntary basis in order to clarify some outstanding matters. Mr. Flynn

explained that, despite saying in April 2011 that he had no knowledge about the

broken coffee table he could now offer some assistance; he said that his sister LL

still had this table and that it had been broken either at the wedding or just after

it by a BBB, who had been about 20 years old at the time. However, it seems that

BBB never made a statement.”

 

Page 94 Doctor Francesca Brett.

“On the 1st of June 2011, Professor Dermot Hourihane, who had been assisting the

Molloy family with expert advice on histopathology, sent to the family solicitor a

report from Dr. Francesca Brett, a Consultant Neuropathologist at Beaumont

Hospital in Dublin. In Dr. Brett’s report, dated the 24th of May 2011, which was

based on her perusal of stained slides, she concluded that the red dead neurones in

Fr. Molloy’s hippocampus, cortex and brain stem indicated survival of between 6

and 12 hours. Dr. Brett also concluded that an area of ischaemic damage in the

brain stem was suggestive of a survival of up to 24 hours.”                           Appendix 6.

 

Page 95 Doctor Michael Farrell

It appears that, as part of the SCRT investigation, a report was also

commissioned from Dr. Michael Farrell, also a Consultant Neuropathologist at

Beaumont Hospital. It was Dr. Farrell to whom the State Pathologist, Dr. John

Harbison, had deferred when he was invited in 1989 to comment on the time of

death.”

Dr. Farrell examined the photographs which had been taken of Fr. Molloy’s

cranium, in a report dated the 16th of August 2012, stated that, although the skull

appeared to be intact, there were several different areas which showed evidence of

bleeding. A microscopic examination of representative brain slides demonstrated

patchy but established dark cell change involving certain neurones. Dr. Farrell’s

interpretation of this was that it indicated that the deceased had been alive

following the injury for a number of hours prior to his death. He concluded there are

considerable variations in the timing of dark cell change but nevertheless most will

agree that a patient needs to have been alive for 3 to 6 hours prior to

establishment of dark cell change.”

Thomas Monaghan.

“One of the matters which Thomas Monaghan recalled was that, at the time of

the 1985 investigation, an explanation had been given for the broken coffee table

which had been discovered in a downstairs room at Kilcoursey House; that two

children who were at the wedding had accidentally damaged it. Although Mr.

Monaghan remembered that statements had been taken from these two children,

any such statements appear no longer to be in existence. This appears to

4.

contradict the assertion by David Flynn that the coffee table was broken by a

guest at the wedding called BBB who, he thought, was about 20 years old at the

time”.

 

Page 99 Fr. Molloy’s Will.

The SCRT made enquiries with the army authorities, because of Fr. Molloy’s

former position as Chaplain, and because it had been suggested in the article that

the army, having received the will from Fr. Molloy, had sent it to the offices of the

Bishop of Elphin. These enquires revealed that no military records existed to

show that the army had ever had sight or possession of a will belonging to Fr.

Molloy or that any such document was sent on elsewhere. Further, when asked

about this in February 2013, the Diocesan Secretary in Sligo confirmed that the

office of the Diocese of Elphin had no will belonging to the late Fr. Molloy and

that there was no record that such a will had ever been deposited there.”

                                                                                                                                      Appendix 7

Page 104 Commentary.

“The calm attitude of Richard Flynn when the Gardai arrived at Kilcoursey

House is a feature of the case which many would find inexplicable.”

 

Page 105 Commentary continued.

“It is suspicious that the business dealings which were ongoing between the

Flynns and Fr. Molloy were not revealed to the authorities at the outset of the

Garda investigation and only came to light subsequently.”

“It is an uncomfortable fact that the Judge at Richard Flynn’s trial, Judge Frank

Roe, was deeply involved in the horse business, which was something he had in

common with Richard and Theresa Flynn and with Fr. Niall Molloy.”

 

Page 107 Commentary continued.

“Questions have been raised about the existence of a Will drawn up by Fr. Molloy.

Although suggestions were made that a Will had been entrusted to the Church, the

available evidence shows that, in fact, there is no record whatsoever of any such

document ever having being made. “                                             Appendix 9.

 

Page 100 Shortcomings in the 1985 Investigation.

“It was the opinion of the SCRT:

1. that there ought to have been a comprehensive canvassing of the guests who

attended the wedding on the 6th of July 1985 with a view to interviewing

everyone;

2. that house to house enquiries should have been conducted;

5.

 

3. that the break in at Fr. Molloy’s home should have been properly

investigated;

4. that the people mentioned by David Flynn in his original statement should

have been interviewed at an early stage to test the veracity of his account

and;

5. that Fr. Molloy’s wrist watch should not have been returned to the Molloy

family without a proper investigation of its condition”

The SCRT report also expressed concern about the fact that Dr. John Harbison

placed reliance on a colleague’s opinion on neuropathological issues but that the

Gardai at the time did not seek a Report from that colleague. It was established

that Dr. Harbison had been in contact with Dr. Michael Farrell, who when asked by

the SCRT, compiled a Report suggesting that Fr. Molloy had lived for 3 to 6

hours after sustaining the injuries. Had this opinion being sought in 1985, a

different complexion would have been placed on the accounts given by members

of the Flynn family and it can be assumed that more questions would have been

asked.”                                                                                                           Appendices 7 and 8.

There are additional shortcomings which have become apparent as a result of the

objective reading of the documents in the case. It would have been of benefit for:

1. Fr. James Deignan to have been more closely questioned about why he felt

that it was more important for him to return home to collect his reading glasses

rather than to summon a Doctor or the Gardai to Kilcoursey House.

2. The absence of any statement from the Solicitor, PP, about the business

transactions between Fr. Molloy and the Flynn’s is a significant omission, as

is the lack of any information from Richard and Theresa Flynn about

this.

3. Further, notwithstanding that blood samples were taken from the scene

and from members of the Flynn family,

4. That various physical items were taken from the principal bedroom and

from other rooms in the house,

5. That numerous fingerprints were located in the bedroom,

6. And that all of these samples and findings were transmitted to the State

Forensic Science Laboratory presumably with a view to try to ascertain who

had been in the bedroom and elsewhere, there is a complete absence of any

record of any scientific testing of the samples taken during the examination

of the scene.”

6.

 

 

INDEX OF APPENDICES.

Emphasis added.

1. Bedroom at Kilcoursey House showing partially cleaned bloodstain.

2. Page 3 of Deposition of Dr. Michael Harbison.

3. Father Niall Molloy deceased.

4. Report of Professor Dermot Hourihane 20/10/1987.

5. Report of Dr. Francesca Brett Consultant Neuropathologist 24/05/2011.

6. File extract from PP Solicitor.

7. Page 7 of Deposition of Dr. Michael Harbison.

8. Page 21 of transcript of evidence of Dr. Michael Harbison.

9. Department of Defence letter re Will of Father Niall Molloy.

10. Criminal Law Act 1997.

11. Terms of Reference.

7.

Richard Flynn “asset rich but cash poor” – David Flynn

The following is a section from the McGinn Report page 64 in which David Flynn discussed his father’s business situation

 

“He confirmed that , as of July 1985, his father’s business situation was that he was “asset rich but cash poor “ but that , although times were tough, he had managed to keep the various businesses afloat”

 

flynn-tax

 

 

 

 

 

p1080887

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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