Letter to Garda Commissioner O’Sullivan ( Irish Police )

6th. April 2015

Dear Commissioner O’Sullivan,

I have read and re read your statement last week following the release of the McGinn Report. I am at a total loss to try and understand it or get any real sense from it.

Can you explain how you think the McGinn report would bring “some comfort to Fr. Molloy’s family” as has been widely reported. ?

Can you explain why at the final briefing with the SCRT we were assured that they were recommending a Commission of Investigation in their report as the only way to establish the facts. Yet there was no reference to that in the McGinn report. Was it airbrushed out ?
I do know for a fact that Christy Mangan’s Secretary was seen typing up on the Molloy file again some months after the final report had been submitted to Mr. Callinan.

Was it returned to Mr Mangan’s office for alterations as has been suggested to me.

My family would also be very anxious to hear your observations on a section of the report titled “ Shortcomings in the 1985 Investigation”. People not questioned, Forensic evidence not properly examined, etc

As for vindicating the work of the review team I am glad you had the foresight to add “Some of the work “. I first made contact with a Detective from the team in Jan 2009 I approached the team with concerns regarding two murders. My Uncle Fr Niall Molloy in 1982 and a close friend Charles Self in 1972.
my family was  unimpressed by their work right from the start. In my Uncle’s case they tried to fob me off quite early on by laying the blame solely on Judge Roe.
No mention at any stage of an incompetent Garda Investigation in 1985 which seems to be the conclusion in McGinn report. In fact their whole approach was casual, not very professional and it was it was pressure from that Dail made them go back  and interview people for a second time and take statements on their second visit. A waste of time and resources..I am sure you will agree.

Regarding the Charles Self case they told me they could not discuss it with without having a gay Liaison Officer present. Please……… I am 64 years of age and I am well beyond the need of counselling on gay matters.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Maher

Letter to Commissioner O’Sullivan ( Irish Police ) – Second Letter

Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
Garda HQ
Phoenix Park,
10th April 2015

Dear Commissioner,

I still have not had the courtesy of a reply to my email sent to you last Monday. Could you please explain  your statement last week where you hoped the McGinn Report would bring “Some comfort to the family”
My family were distressed by your comments which were widely reported in the media.
We were told that your appointment would mean changes in the Gardai. Mr. Callinan also failed to answer letters. It is simply not good enough. You as Garda Commissioner  made the statement either justify it or make a public apology to the Molloy family.
My family have had enough to deal with over the past 30 years. We do not need this.


Bill Maher

10/ April / 2015



Passage of time precludes new probe into priest’s 1985 death

An independent review of a Garda investigation into the violent death of Fr Niall Molloy 30 years ago has recommended against any further inquiry.

The examination by Dominic McGinn SC said this was despite “extremely unusual” and “quite disturbing” aspects to the death of the 52-year-old priest at the home of Richard and Therese Flynn in Clara, Co Offaly, on July 8, 1985.

Mr Flynn was subsequently charged with manslaughter and assault but, at his trial in June 1986, the jury was directed to find him not guilty.

Mr McGinn was tasked by the Department of Justice with reviewing the Garda Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT) examination of the original Garda investigation.

Mr McGinn concluded that, given the passage of time, the death of 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.

“Certainly there are extremely unusual, if not unique, features about this case,” said Mr McGinn.

“Many of these are quite disturbing and merited an in-depth analysis.”

Mr McGinn’s report said:

  • There was an “unexplained” and “significant delay” in alerting authorities to the priest’s injuries;
  • That the “calm attitude” of Mr Flynn to the “violent death of a family friend” in his house was a feature that many would find “inexplicable”;
  • Regarding the Flynn family, he said “undoubtedly at least one of them knew who was responsible” for Fr Molloy’s death;
  • In light of confessions by Mr Flynn to inflicting violence on Fr Molloy, the directed acquittal of Mr Flynn at his trial was “extraordinary”;
  • That while much of the criticism was levelled at the trial judge, his decision was at least “partially attributable” to concessions made by State pathologist John Harbison;
  • In spite of friendships the Flynns had with politicians at the highest level, there was no evidence that these connections were used.

Mr McGinn concluded that, having looked at the material in the SCRT report, “if is difficult to envisage how any further inquiry could have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth about the issues raised”.

He said this was due to the passage of time, the death of key witnesses, and the “reluctance of others voluntarily to give evidence”.

Therefore, he said, a further inquiry was not warranted.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she accepted this recommendation.

Mr McGinn said that Fr Molloy’s family had “a completely reasonable sense of injustice”.

The priest’s nephew, Bill Maher, said the report was ultimately “disappointing” but was “quite detailed”.

“He still says that certain aspects of it warrant inquiries,” said Mr Maher.

“His main conclusion seems to be that people have died and people are unwilling to speak. If the commission [of inquiry] had been set up, which is what we’d sought all along, people would have been compelled to give evidence. There are a few people dead but there are a lot of people alive.”

Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan said that if new evidence came to light “it will be pursued”, but added: “It’s only fair to say at this moment it’s probably not right to hold out hope 30 years later.”