Monday 11 December 2017

File on Fr Molloy murder goes to DPP

Gemma O'Doherty

A Garda file on the murder of Fr Niall Molloy has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A Garda file on the murder of Fr Niall Molloy has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Following a two-and-a-half year probe, the Serious Crime Review Unit has submitted a file on the 1985 killing, based on evidence given to it by the Irish Independent.

This paper's investigation led to numerous calls for a public inquiry in Leinster House, where it has been described as the "biggest cover-up in the history of the State" by Labour Senator John Kelly.

The popular Roscommon cleric, pictured left, was beaten to death in the Offaly mansion of his friends, Richard and Teresa Flynn, following a wedding attended by several politicians, including a household name.

The 52-year-old curate died as a result of head injuries and was left bleeding on the ground for up to six hours before help was called.

In the months before his death, Fr Molloy had been seeking the return of a large sum of money he had loaned to the Flynns.

The original garda investigation was alleged to have been deeply flawed.

Vital evidence was contaminated and crucial witnesses were never interviewed.

Mr Flynn was charged with manslaughter although it is widely believed that another person killed the priest.

BIZARRE

Mr Flynn was acquitted following a three-hour trial heard by Justice Frank Roe. It later emerged the judge knew the Flynns and should not have heard the case.

This came to light after Martin 'The General' Cahill broke into the DPP's office in 1987 and stole the Molloy file.

It contained a letter to the then-state prosecutor Eamonn Barnes from the judge, sent in advance of the trial, stating he knew the individuals involved.

Why Justice Roe was allowed to hear the case has never been explained. Gardai have also refused to explain a deal they did with drug-lord John Traynor to get the file back.

In a secret trade-off, officers dropped charges against Traynor, an associate of Cahill's, in return for the stolen file.

Bill Maher, Fr Niall's nephew, urged the DPP to act swiftly.

"The last time our uncle's file ended up in that office, it was stolen and a bizarre deal was done between the state and a notorious criminal to get it back. We were never told why and we have been looking for answers ever since. Niall's killer is still walking the streets, along with the many other influential people who protected him. They need to be held accountable, if the criminal justice system in this country is to have a shred of credibility."

Roscommon senator John Kelly, a key figure in the justice campaign, echoed the family's concerns, adding: "We need to get action on this case immediately."

Irish Independent

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