“The lack of a detailed explanation by the Flynn family about what took place at Kilcoursey House on the night of 7th/8th July 1985 has added considerably to the speculation surrounding the death of Father Niall Molloy”
“Death primarily the result of No 1 head injury” – Dr Harbison, State Pathologist. (Opinion given within 24 hours of Niall’s death) 8/July/1985
The only man ever charged over the death of Roscommon priest Fr Niall Molloy was buried in Co Westmeath on Monday.
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.
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.
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.
Aunty May Quinn ( Flynn ) was the oldest member of the Flynn family to reside in Kilcoursey House.
According to her statement she one of the last people to see Fr. Niall alive on the night he met his violent death. She claims to have spoken to him around midnight. He was on his way to bed and had a drink in his hand . Niall suffered from Ulcers and a glass of milk was found beside his bed.
Aunty May clearly states that she was the last person to go to bed that night.
” I went into my room , closed the door and went to bed. I didn’t hear anything else that night ”
Niall was dead by 1:00 in a room along the corridor from May’s room. There was allegedly an argument and a violent struggle. Over the next few hours hysterical Theresa Flynn had to be restrained . Theresa also had to be sedated by a Doctor despite the fact that she had been drinking and had taken a sleeping tablet.
Aunty May didn’t hear anything.
Numerous people arrived in cars from 1:00a.m. and there were a lot of people upstairs to visit the scene of the killing. A priest, Doctor, family members and a number of Gardai were all up and down the stairs during the night and Aunty May didn’t hear anything.
THERE IS NO RECORD OF THE GARDAI SPEAKING TO AUNTY MAY OR ASKING FOR A STATEMENT FROM HER Despite the fact that she had not left the house all day except to go to Mass in the Morning.
Her statement was not included in the “family statements” handed into the Gardai by family Solicitor Liam Lysaght. In fact her statement ( taken later) turned up at the Inquest but there is no record of when this was handed into the Gardai
At the inquest in 1986 May was on the witness stand . She stood by her statement and was asked by the Coroner to sign her statement. She obliged and as you can see her signature in the Coroner’s Court in no way matches her original signature on her statement taken by the family Solicitor. ( see below )
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