Appointment of Senior Counsel is progress in Fr. Molloy case – Kelly and Whelan

Appointment of Senior Counsel is progress in Fr. Molloy case – Kelly and Whelan

6 November 2013

Statement by Senator John Kelly
Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht Affairs, Training & Skills

We are certainly encouraged with the announcement by the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, that an independent examination by a Senior Counsel is to be conducted into the report of the serious crime team that dealt with the death of Fr. Niall Molloy.

We are disappointed, however, that the Minister has not set up a commission of investigation. Obviously the family and neighbours and friends of Fr. Molloy wish to get to the truth of what happened, and this appointment of a Senior Counsel appears on paper to be no more than somebody who is, again, trawling over the same paperwork that the DPP and the minister himself have previously trawled over.

We sincerely do hope that it does not mean that key witnesses, who were not interviewed before, will now not be interviewed subsequently, and that those who were interviewed but gave no information, can just get away with that. There is no doubt but that this latest development is modest progress, in what has been a harrowing saga over the past twenty eight years.

The minister’s initiative is to be welcomed and we do of course hope that it is a prelude to a full commission of enquiry, which was pledged by both government parties, prior to the last general election. Ultimately, this commission of enquiry is what is required to bring closure and conclusion to Fr. Molloy’s family and the communities in Roscommon and Offaly.

We must also acknowledge the role of Gemma O’ Doherty and her investigative journalism, which undoubtedly acted as a catalyst to having the case reopened and now this latest enquiry being initiated.

We would also like to thank our fellow Senate members and indeed all our Oireachtas colleagues, across all parties, who supported the initiative undertaken by us when we brought this matter back to public light, over the last two years in the Senate.

We recognise that whilst the Minister for Justice did have it within his gift to allow a commission of enquiry, he could also have decided to be content with the cold case investigation and leave it at that. The Minister does deserve huge credit for not burying this case, and for appointing a Senior Counsel.

Kelly and Whelan call for independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Molloy

Kelly & Whelan call for independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Molloy

6 March 2013

Statement by Senator John Kelly
Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht Affairs, Training & Skills

Senators John Kelly and John Whelan have renewed their call for an independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy, in Clara, Co. Offaly in 1985.

“There is an urgent need for justice, accountability and transparency, as well as much needed closure for the two families involved, and indeed the community at large, and as such we are calling for the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, to open an independent inquiry into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy.

“There remains considerable public disquiet surrounding this brutal killing, even though many years have passed. We believe that in the interest of justice, the case must be looked at again. We feel that this sorry saga is a blight on our criminal justice system, and that if it had happened to an Irish national in any other country, we would be rightly incensed and actively demanding answers.

“It is quite obvious, that there are people out there who do know exactly what happened that night in Richard Flynn’s house in Clara, in 1985, and they still have the opportunity to come forward and ensure that justice is served.

“We are holding a briefing in Leinster House today to inform other Oireachtas members and the press, of the details of the saga, and also to ask for their assistance in applying pressure for an independent inquiry to be held as soon as possible.

“Dr. Kate Flynn, a leading academic in justice issues and niece of Richard Flynn will speak the event, as well as Gemma O’Doherty of the Irish Independent, who has researched and written extensively on the circumstances surrounding the death of Fr. Molloy.  Other speakers include witnesses with vital information about the background to the killing, and   relations of Fr. Molloy.”

Shannonside Radio

Meeting on Fr Niall Molloy case in Leinster House

Seanad exchanges over murder of Fr Niall Molloy in 1985

There have been exchanges between the Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad and Labour and Fine Gael Senators over a need for a public inquiry into the death of Fr Niall Molloy in Clara, Co Offaly, 27 years ago.Fr Molloy, who was 52 and originally from Co Roscommon, was beaten to death in the mansion of his friends Therese and Richard Flynn.

The matter was raised by Labour Senator John Whelan, who was standing in for the Labour leader in the Seanad, Ivana Bacik.

He called for the establishment of a public inquiry, saying there had been a conspiracy of silence and cover up involving so-called pillars of society, including in politics.

Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway continued to demand an inquiry as the Cathoirleach sought to rule the matter out of order because of the level of comment attached to the contributions.

The Fianna Fáil leader, Darragh O’Brien, pointed out that as the Senators belong to the parties of Government, they should be able to pursue it.

Later in the session, Labour Senator John Kelly also supported the call for an inquiry into Fr Molloy’s death.Independent Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell said she too wanted an inquiry into Fr Molloy’s death.