Shortcomings –


Brenda Power on Molloy case- Sunday Times

Brenda Power - Sunday Times. April 2015

Brenda Power – Sunday Times. April 2015


Brenda Power wrote

“Molloy affair has also been a victory of sorts since the latest review has not found any reason to criticise the force for the role it played in the investigation “



On 8 April 2015 at 17:55, William Maher <> wrote:

Dear Brenda,

I have just read over your article on the McGinn report into the death of my late Uncle Fr Niall Molloy. It is obvious from reading the article that you did not read the report.
You wrote “The Molloy affair has also been a victory of sorts since the latest review has not found any reason to criticise the force  for the role it played in the investigation “
You are the only person to have reached that conclusion from the report

I suggest you read Pages 100, 101, and 102 of the McGinn Report Under the title “Shortcomings in the 1985 investigation”

Fr Niall did attend the wedding reception in Kilcoursey House as well as the lunch the following day

Please print a correction and do kindly read reports carefully before you publish opinions on them.


Bill Maher

Nephew of Fr Niall Molloy

On 8 Apr 2015, at 18:16, SM – Sunday Times, Irish News <> wrote:


Dear William,

I have forwarded your letter to Brenda Power’s personal email account.
I’m wondering if we may also publish your letter in the Sunday Times this weekend?
John Burns
Associate Editor
On 8 April 2015 at 23:31, William Maher <> wrote:

We seem to keep meeting like this. I would prefer  a proper correction and an apology. However if you see it an an easier way out you can publish my letter unedited. Last time you did this in the way of an apology you edited my letter. I am not prepared to accept that this time.
Bill Maher
On 9 Apr 2015, at 09:10, SM – Sunday Times, Irish News <> wrote:
hi Bill

I see no reason to edit it. We will publish it exactly as you have written.
John Burns
On 9 April 2015
Dear Bill,
Thanks for your email, and I can assure you there was definitely no
intention to cause your family further distress. I know this sounds
like a lame excuse, but I really did not write the line you complain
of – it was inserted in the editing process, and almost certainly by a
lawyer, as I had written a line to the effect that the Gardai hadn’t
covered themselves in glory in this case. I know you are insisting on
having your letter printed exactly as written, and I guess that is a
hit on me and on my professional reputation I will just have to take.
Kind regards,
Brenda Power
10th April 2015

Thank you so much for your reply.
You article did cause a lot of distress to my family.
The whole tone of your article was very upsetting.
We are talking here about a real life . A Murder, Not a novel or a board game. We are talking about a man , a priest, who was beaten to death in a friend’s house and left to die for a number of hours without medical help. He was alone and dying  and did not even have the comfort of one of his family to hold his hand in his final hours.
Not Agatha Christie, not Cluedo…….I hope it never happens someone you are close to. I do not know your marital status but try, for one moment, to imagine it happening to one of your children, or a sibling or simply someone you are close to.
You feel free to comment in such an uniformed and trivial way on a life taken prematurely. Niall had a right to life and it was taken from him.
As for my background I worked in publishing. I am very aware of the process where Lawyers have to “Legal “ articles before they are published and they make suggestions or demand alterations. I have never experienced a situation where they totally overwrote a sentence and  had it published  without the author’s knowledge. I think you should take it up with them . After all if The Sunday Times have printed an article,under your name and printed views which you did not write, you need to take it up with them.
However that is between you and them. The fact remains an article which carried name was extremely offensive and insensitive and not worthy of a national newspaper

Bill Maher





Sunday Times April 12 th 2015




My letter was edited despite being assured that it would not be.




13th April 2015




 My letter was edited despite what you said.
Bill Maher

Leak of report into priest’s 1985 killing ‘a gross insult’



Leak of report into priest’s 1985 killing ‘a gross insult’

The family of a priest killed in suspicious circumstances 29 years ago has described the leaking of a government-commissioned report as a “gross insult”.

Relatives of Fr Niall Molloy, Co Roscommon, are seeking an urgent meeting with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald following a series of communication blunders in relation to a report into the unsolved killing of their uncle in 1985.

The leaking of a report into the death of Fr Molloy to a Sunday newspaper has infuriated the family, who branded it as the “final insult”.

“The leaking of this report has added insult to injury. The department has repeatedly briefed the Dáil and media before briefing the family on how the report was progressing and now we see the findings of that report leaked in a Sunday newspaper; it’s a gross insult to the family and to Niall’s memory,” Bill Maher, a nephew of Fr Molloy, said.

“It was only a week or so ago that Minister Fitzgerald confirmed that the report was completed and with her department and the Attorney General.

“It was only through the media that we became aware of that fact and now 10 days on we see the report leaked.

“It really is the final insult for the family after 29 years of campaigning for the truth and for answers,” Mr Maher added.

The report was commissioned to examine the findings of a recent Garda probe into the 1985 cold case and is expected to determine whether a commission of investigation is warranted.

In 2010, the Garda serious crime unit re-opened the case but the two-and-a-half year probe failed to result in any prosecutions.

Gardaí indicated to the Molloy family in the final briefing that they would be strongly recommending a commission of investigation to ascertain all the facts surrounding the death.

The unsolved killing of Fr Molloy at the home of his friends, Richard and Therese Flynn, in Clara, Co Offaly, on July 8, 1985, has raised more questions than answers for almost 30 years.

It has led to allegations of a cover-up involving several arms of the State, as well as questions over the initial Garda investigation and the criminal trial that followed in 1986, in which Richard Flynn was acquitted.

The leaked report in The Sunday Times has attempted to pour cold water on claims that Gardai were involved in any cover-up.

In light of the leak, the family is seeking a meeting with Ms Fitzgerald as a matter of urgency.

“We don’t see any reason why the minister cannot meet with us now out of courtesy, in particular when the minister can find the time to meet with other families from other jurisdictions,” Mr Maher said.

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