18th November 2014

A nephew of Fr. Niall Molloy says he is “angry and upset” that the Department of Justice did not notify him that it has received a report examining the garda cold case files on the death of the Roscommon priest.

Bill Maher says he sent letters to Justice Minister enquiring about the review, which was announced last year, but received no reply.

Frances Fitzgerald says she is considering the findings of the report by senior counsel Dominic McGinn in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General.

Fr. Molloy was found beaten to death in Kilcoursey House, Clara, Co. Offaly in July 1985 following a wedding.

Nobody has been convicted of his killing.

Mr Maher says the lack of communication is “discourteous”.

Bill Maher
audio/x-wav 1157572.mp3 (335.68 KB)

Fr. Molloy and the Gardai. Five years on

January 2009 is when I first made contact with the Garda Cold Case unit. After the initial contact things seemed to be going nowhere until I mentioned that I had met with the GSOC. Things started to happen then and after a few short meeting with two Detectives they suggested that I should write to the Garda Commissioner. We are now five years on the the family have had no answers. There seems to a very cross party reluctance to bring the case to a proper conclusion.

Garda Inquiries finished in March 2013 yet it took Alan Shatted almost a year to appoint an Sc to look at the Garda report. We have heard no more and we are very unhappy with the terms of reference.

From day one we have always asked for an investigation into how the case was handled in 1985 -1988. This has not been done and has been left outside the terms of reference given to Dominic McGinn. This is not acceptable and we will not rest until Garda  behaviour  ( and others ) is examined in detail.


When Mr.Shatter When ?

Wednesday 5th February


Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will replace his plans for a senior counsel review of the cold case inquiry into the murder of Fr. Niall Molloy with a proper independent public inquiry; and if he will meet Fr. Molloy’s family in relation to this matter. [5319/14]


Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter

The Deputy will be aware that arrangements are being put in train for Mr. Dominic McGinn, Senior Counsel, to carry out the proposed independent examination of the report of the Serious Crime Review Team relating to the Garda investigation into the death of Fr.Niall Molloy.


The terms of reference for the examination have been agreed with the Attorney General and are available on my Department’s website. They have also been furnished directly to a representative of the family of Fr. Molloy.


In accordance with the terms of reference, Mr. McGinn will be asked to do two things, namely–


– 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, and


– taking into account existing mechanisms for the investigation of offences, to identify matters, if any, of significant public concern which would warrant examination by a further inquiry and in respect of which such further inquiry would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth.


Given that one of the objectives of the proposed examination is to identify whether there are matters of significant public concern that would warrant examination by a further inquiry and in respect of which such further inquiry would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth, I have no proposals at this time to change the above arrangements. Rather, my immediate priority is to allow the Senior Counsel to carry out his examination so that the maximum amount of information can be put into the public domain at the earliest possible date. I will, of course, give full consideration to any matters which are identified as a result of the examination.


While I do not believe that a meeting with family members of Fr. Molloy will serve to advance matters at this time, it is important to add that they have been kept appraised of developments in this matter.


Mr. Shatter – No news

Towards the end of 2013 Minister for Justice Alan Shatter announced his intention to appoint a SC to examine the Garda Cold Case Unit report. To date no actual appointment has been announced.

Why are we being kept waiting ?

Fr Niall Molloy – Surprise article in The Catholic Universe

The Catholic Universe  5th/ Jan/ 2014

The Catholic Universe
5th/ Jan/ 2014

Surprised to see 2014 off to a start with an article about my uncle Fr. Niall Molloy. The Catholic Universe to my knowledge has never covered the story of his death. The article was sent to me my a relative of mine who is a Priest who was also very surprised at them, now finally, writing about Niall’s death.

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