One year ago today The Garda Ombudsman published their report.
As is usual with our justice system there has been no reaction to it. The Garda Commissioner has not made any public statement as to it’s findings. Charlie Flanagan has dismissed us in the same fashion as Frances Fitzgerad did.
It is really not good enough.
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.
The Crime Scene ( I should say alleged Crime Scene) of the Murder of Fr Niall Molloy was tampered with after the first Garda, Sgt Kevin Ford, arrived on the scene.
In a statement he made to the Serious Crime Review Team, Sgt. Kevin Ford ( retired ) said the following.
“ I have viewed the photographs and can say this is how I found the scene with one difference. I have a recollection that of the body being in a different position”
“Fr. Deignan was elderly man. He arrived first and said let’s move the body” – Statement from a family witness
SCRT – The Serious Crime Review Team in there final report ( 2013 ) state that ” The members involved in this current examination of issues were required to rely on the typed investigation file that was submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The original file, job books and exhibits have not been located to date”
http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR13000380 – No mention from Minister of documents missing from DPP’s Office.
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.