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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Cold case draws a blank: Fr Niall Molloy’s family disappointed

Family of priest murdered in 1985 'bewildered' by failures of new investigation

Gemma O'Doherty

Published 21/11/2011 | 05:00

THE family of priest Fr Niall Molloy said last night they are bitterly disappointed by the failure of the gardai to bring his killers to justice.

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Fr Molloy's nephews, Henry McCourt, a lawyer, and Bill Maher, said they were "utterly bewildered" that a new probe into the 1985 killing -- started last year after the Irish Independent unearthed new evidence -- had "come to nothing".

The priest's battered body was found in a pool of blood in July 1985, after a lavish family wedding in the home of his close friends, Theresa and Richard Flynn in Clara, Co Offaly.

His nephews yesterday revealed their disappointment after meeting Chief Supt Padraig Kennedy and Det Supt Christy Mangan, head of the cold case unit, who have just completed the year-long examination of the case, costing thousands of euro.

They said they were left with a distinct impression that the gardai were not going to make any new arrests.

"So much time has been wasted and there is nothing at the end of it all," Mr McCourt, a Cork solicitor, said.

"I don't know what the purpose of this review was. One year on, there are a number of very serious issues that haven't been addressed. I can't fathom it, given the amount of evidence the gardai now have. It is extremely frustrating."

Last December, former garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy ordered a new examination of the case following dramatic new evidence given to him by the Irish Independent. This included a new witness testimony that other people were present on the night of the murder, including a surgeon who died suddenly six months later at the age of 50, after confessing to a friend that his life was in turmoil over the killing.

Review

Det Supt Mangan headed up the new review with a team of seven officers.

One year on, the Molloy family is deeply frustrated at the pace of his review and delays in acquiring significant evidence, which they believe could help bring their uncle's killers to justice.

Retired Gda Sgt Kevin Forde, who was first on the crime scene in 1985, said he is equally dismayed.

"I am very, very disappointed with this outcome and the fact that it appears the gardai are taking no further action.

"The gardai were given substantial new evidence. The killer is still out there and must be brought to justice," he said.

Irish Independent

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