Alan Shatter requested investigation ?

” I am aware of all the allegations and I am aware of all the concerns. I have been for some time, which is why in 2011 I requested this matter be investigated.”

This is part of a reply given by Minister Alan Shatter to questions in the Dáil on the 30th. April 2013.

The Investigation/Examinination was already under way when Alan Shatter was elected. It was set up three months before Alan Shatter became Minister

Commissioner Fáchtna Murphy started the investigation into  Niall’s case when Dermot Ahern was Minister for Justice in 2010

Dáil Debate 17 /11 /2010

Dermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 40 together.

The incident to which the Deputies refer was the subject of investigation by the Garda Síochána, which resulted in the submission of an investigation file to the law officers, who directed that a person be charged with manslaughter and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. At the subsequent trial, directions to acquit were given by the judge.

Following representations which I recently received, I requested a report on the matter from the Garda authorities. I am informed by the Garda authorities that, following the publication of the article referred to by Deputy Shatter, representations were also made to the Garda Commissioner requesting an investigation of the matters raised in it. The Commissioner arranged for a detective superintendent to meet the persons making the representations, particularly in the context of an assessment of whether there is new information or evidence available which could be pursued. I expect to receive a further report from the Commissioner when that assessment is completed.

The Criminal Procedure Act 2010 introduced a significant change to our laws governing the status of acquittals, by providing that an acquittal can now be set aside and the person re-tried where new and compelling evidence emerges. Previously, an acquitted person was entitled to an irrebuttable presumption of innocence. However, the Act’s provisions do not apply to historical cases – they apply only to persons tried and acquitted on or after the date on which the provisions were commenced, that is, 1 September this year. This absence of retrospective effect stems from our constitutional framework.

“Last December, former garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy ordered a new examination of the case following dramatic new evidence given to him by the Irish Independent.”

Irish Independent 21/11/2011

Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, head of the cold case unit, has been appointed by Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to examine fresh details contained in a recent Irish Independent investigation.

Irish independent 22/11/2010

Gardai to probe evidence on priest’s death

Gardai to probe evidence on priest’s death

  • By Gemma O’Doherty

Monday November 22 2010

A NUMBER of individuals who hold key information about the death of a priest 25 years ago say they are keen to hand it over to gardai.

Several people who gave vital new evidence to the Irish Independent about the brutal killing of Fr Niall Molloy hope to hear from the gardai as a matter of priority.

Fr Molloy (52) was found beaten to death at the home of his friends Richard and Teresa Flynn in the wake of a lavish society wedding in Offaly in 1985.

Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, head of the cold case unit, has been appointed by Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to examine fresh details contained in a recent Irish Independent investigation.

The Molloy family, who have fought for more than 20 years to have the case reopened, hope the new information will convince authorities to reopen the case.

In recent days, there were calls in the Dail for an immediate review of the case on foot of the Irish Independent probe.

Last week, Det Supt Mangan’s unit interviewed two individuals who came forward with new evidence relating to the killing.

Details of the newspaper’s file have been given to the gardai. They include the names of individuals who hold information about Fr Molloy’s final hours, including a sighting of the priest in the immediate period before he was attacked.

New details have also emerged about the condition of the body at the crime scene.

The people who hold this crucial information say they were not interviewed by gardai at the time of the original investigation.

Last week in the Dail, opposition justice spokesmen Alan Shatter of Fine Gael and Labour’s Pat Rabbitte called for a full re-examination of the case.

But Justice Minister Dermot Ahern stated that this was a matter entirely for the gardai.

This was disputed by Mr Rabbitte who said a Commission of Investigation into the case could be instigated by Mr Ahern.

Both Fine Gael and Labour have pledged to carry out a full review of the case if they are in power after the next election.

The Molloy family have written to Commissioner Murphy requesting the reopening of the case before his imminent retirement.

“Niall was a wonderful, gentle human being who never hurt another soul,” said Bill Maher, Fr Molloy’s nephew, last night.

“Our family will never give up fighting to find out the full facts surrounding his horrendous killing. In light of all the new evidence, we urge the gardai to act now and reopen the case immediately.”

– Gemma O’Doherty

Irish Independent