Man cleared of Fr Molloy murder dies after illness

Richard Flynn leaving court in September 1985

The only man ever charged over the death of Roscommon priest Father Niall Molloy was laid to rest in Co Westmeath.

The Galway native was laid to rest beside his late wife Theresa in Tubberclair Cemetery following midday Funeral Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair, Glasson, Co Westmeath.

The acquittal of Mr Flynn of the killing of Fr Molloy sparked a controversy that lasted 30 years after the priest’s death.

Fr Molloy’s body was found in the home of Richard and Theresa Flynn at Kilcoursey House in Clara, Co Offaly, on July 8, 1985.

After a lengthy investigation a garda file was sent to the director of public prosecutions and Mr Flynn was charged with manslaughter and assault.

Father Niall Molloy22
Father Niall Molloy

But at his trial, the late Judge Frank Roe directed the jury to find Mr Flynn not guilt on both counts. The decision fuelled the nationwide interest that already existed in the case and created a flurry of rumours, none of them substantiated, about what had taken place that night.

Since then, further allegations have been made about the events and the subsequent garda investigation.

The fresh outcry prompted garda authorities to appoint members of the serious crime review team, or cold case unit, to carry out a review of the case.

The government then appointed senior counsel, Dominic McGinn, to take a fresh look at the review and he concluded that, given the passage of time, the death of so many pertinent 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.

Irish Independent

Judge Roe’s name comes up again.

Judge Roe gets a mention in this excellent article on


Philip Cairns And A Trail Of Disinformation

Fine Gael need my help

14th Jan. 2016 Yesterday evening I returned home to be greeted by my local Fine Gael TD out canvassing for votes in the upcoming election. Fine Gael needs my help ( my vote ) to get re elected in 2016.


1985 My uncle Fr Niall Molloy was murdered in Clara Co. Offaly. My family felt naively that under a Fine Gael Government that his death would be investigated properly.We were wrong, very wrong.

Michael Noonan was Minister for Justice that year

1986 Was the year of the trial of Richard Flynn. He was never arrested but simply ordered to appear in Court to answer charges. The Judge ( Judge Roe ) dismissed the Jury on the grounds that Niall could have died from a heart attack. There were a lot of protests at the time regarding the trial but we were assured that the Inquest would answer many questions that for the family.

The Inquest concluded that Niall had actually died as a result of an injury to the head. Again we thought that the Fine Gael Government would do something, but no. The Minister of Justice at that time was Alan Dukes

Fast forward to my meeting Alan Shatter who gave me some encouragement when in opposition  but refused to meet the family when he became Minister for Justice.

I met with Govt. Minister Lucinda Creighton  F.G. who was my local TD. That meeting was a waste of time. And it was a vote I will not waste again in the coming election

Various inquiries were made over recent years. A review was held into those inquiries bur the SC in charge did not speak to the family. We objected to the Terms of Reference but our objections fell on deaf ears.

We asked for meeting with both Alan Shatter and Frances Fitzgerald but were refused.

In July of 2015 we were finally granted a meeting with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. We outlined our observations and objections to the review and presented her with documents and photographs at the meeting. She promised she would revert back to us after the Summer break. That was last July. She has not come back to us despite saying that she found some of the evidence we had presented “very disturbing”,

She did seem interested  when I told her that my grandfather W J Molloy served as a  Senator from 1922 – 1931.

Many of my family including myself had voted for Fine Gael for most of our lives. We were not begging them for help we just expected Justice would be done while they were in power. We expected that from them and we trusted them with our votes.


 Now Fine Gael wants MY help.

Bill Maher – Nephew of Fr Niall Molloy

Judicial Appointments

Judicial Appointments

Attention of Alan Shatter

Judge hits at colleague over priest killing case

Fr Molloy: battered to death


AN eminent former judge has added his voice to the growing chorus of disquiet about the killing of Fr Niall Molloy — the priest found dead in an Offaly mansion in the 1980s.

James O’Sullivan said he was “amazed” that the judge who presided over the priest’s manslaughter trial took the case — because he was a “great friend” of the families involved.

Mr Justice Frank Roe heard the trial in June 1986 shortly after being appointed President of the Circuit Court. Amid huge controversy, he halted the hearing in less than four hours and ordered the jury to acquit the accused Richard Flynn.

It was the most sensational killing and trial of the 1980s.

In July 1985, the popular Roscommon priest was found battered to death in the Offaly mansion of his socialite friends Therese and Richard Flynn, the day after their daughter’s wedding.

The post-mortem concluded that the 52-year-old cleric had been punched and kicked in the head at least five or six times and died as a result of acute brain swelling caused by his injuries.

He did not die instantly but was left for up to six hours after the initial attack before the gardai were called.


The actions of some garda officers in the initial investigation have also been called into question. They allowed vital evidence to be contaminated and many witnesses were never interviewed.

It is widely believed that another individual and not Richard Flynn killed Fr Molloy.

Nearly two years ago, the garda cold case unit launched a new examination following an Irish Independent investigation.

The newspaper produced new evidence that other people were present in the house on the night of the killing.

But the family of Fr Niall said they were deeply disappointed at the slow pace of this probe and are calling on Justice Minister Alan Shatter to establish a commission to answer questions that surround the killing.

Speaking for the first time about the trial, Judge O’Sullivan said: “I was very friendly with Frank Roe. I was amazed at him for taking the case because I always looked on him as a most honourable man.

“I couldn’t believe that he took the case or his actions throughout. He should never have said what he said to the jury. They had no choice but to follow his instructions.”

Alan Shatter on the Judiciary

“No one should have any doubt doubt that the rule of law applies fully in this state and no question mark hangs over the independence of our judiciary or courts system.”

see his full statement at

Judge Frank Roe

In his ruling Judge Roe stated that Fr. Molloy had heart disease ( He didn’t and no medical evidence was presented or sought by the Judge to back this up )

However, in his evidence state pathologist Dr. Harbison stated that it was not his opinion that Fr. Molloy had died from a heart attack.

Judge Roe continued by saying ” It’s a little bit unusual but not improper of me to say that no one intended any injury to be caused “