Priest was left to die for six hours, new evidence claims
August 12, 2011
NEW medical evidence claims murdered priest Fr Niall Molloy, killed after a lavish society wedding 26 years ago, was left to die for at least six hours before help was sought.
The report, seen by the Irish Independent, was carried out by one of the country’s top pathologists and is based on laboratory slides of the Roscommon cleric’s brain.
The late priest’s family said last night the new evidence confirmed their worst fears about their uncle’s death in Clara, Co Offaly, which led to one of the most controversial trials in the history of the State.
They have always maintained that Fr Molloy, who died as a result of head injuries following a violent beating, could have been saved were it not for a long and unexplained delay in getting help.
“This dreadful new evidence proves what we have believed all along,” Fr Molloy’s nephew Bill Maher said last night.
“We have always known there were glaring inconsistencies about Niall’s murder, especially when it came to the timing of his death.”
Last December, an in-depth investigation by the Irish Independent revealed that the local sergeant in Clara had found the priest’s watch cracked on his wrist on the night of his death, the hands stopped at 10.40. Gardai were not called to the scene until 3.15am, almost five hours later. This vital piece of evidence was not retained by the investigating team but handed back to the family.
Fr Molloy had just been voted Roscommon man of the year when his battered body was found in a pool of blood in the mansion of his close friends Richard and Theresa Flynn on July 8, 1985.
His death took place hours after their daughter Maureen’s wedding, a VIP affair.
A year after the priest’s death, Mr Flynn stood trial for his manslaughter, but the judge, the late Mr Justice Frank Roe, acquitted him after less than four hours. It later emerged that Mr Roe knew Richard Flynn and should never have heard the trial.
The Molloy family do not believe that Mr Flynn, now in his 80s and living in Moate, carried out the killing.
The Irish Independent investigation resulted in a review of the Molloy case by the gardai. It was led by Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan. Significant new evidence, much of it uncovered by this newspaper, was examined by the team.
After reading the Irish Independent file, Justice Minister Alan Shatter and his cabinet colleague Pat Rabbitte also promised a full public review of the case if the gardai failed to establish the full facts.
In June 2011, Det Supt Mangan presented an extensive report on the priest’s killing to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, but two months on, his office have failed to act on it.
“Both we and Niall’s loyal parishioners have been waiting for nearly 30 years to find out why the full facts about his death were never revealed,” said Mr Maher.
“It is up to Commissioner Callinan to act now on all of the information that has been given to him so that justice can be served and the people who carried out this horrendous killing are brought before the courts.”
It looks like a interesting story and one i have never heard of before.
does any remember it.
Intresting piece about this case in today's Sunday Independent.
pieces finally coming together now. hope his poor family finally get justice.
I think closure for the family is probably as important if not more important than justice at this stage. 26 years later you have to ask the question about what prosecution could be made at this stage that will hold up.
More news on this case - http://www.independent.ie/national-news/judge-hits-at-colleague-over-priest-killing-case-3182954.html
The original judge is dead now so the truth may come out. It should be investigated as there are strong rumours of Fianna Fail politicans intervening in the case. The Gardai also came under pressure from Cardinal O'Fiach (also deceased)
Front page article in tomorrows independent about this terrible injustice.
Lets hope this time the family get the closure/justice they deserve.
Just an update on this:
Yesterday, in the Dáil, Independent TD Mattie McGrath, above, raised the death of Fr Niall Molloy (top), who was killed in July 1985 after a wedding at Richard Flynn’s mansion in Clara, Co Offaly.
Mattie McGrath: ”Taoiseach, I rise today to highlight an issue that is fundamental to the pursuit of justice in our country in 2013. Taoiseach, I believe there’s an ongoing scandal surrounding the unresolved murder of a hugely popular parish priest, the late Fr Niall Molloy in 1985, almost three decades ago. This case has existed and the unhappiness and unease around it, through several successive governments for the last three decades as stated. All the evidence points to a high-level cover-up of his murder – including all of the institutions of the State, including sadly elements of An Garda Síochána, the judiciary, politicians, health services and indeed the Catholic Church. The main points are, I think, Taoiseach is that we want to get to the bottom of this sordid affair. That Niall Molloy was beaten to death and left bleeding for up to six hours, according to independent neuropathologists who have examined his brain. Dermot Hourihan, a former professor of pathology, at Trinity College and St James’ spoke to any of us that wanted to listen last week in the AV room here and he left us in no doubt what his findings were and that of his senior and very eminent colleagues. Fr Niall Molloy’s watch was cracked and stopped at 10.40 and the gardaí were not contacted until 3.15am, the following morning. What was happening during these vital hours, Taoiseach? The first garda investigation was by all people, by all accounts, a total shambles. Vital evidence was contaminated, important witnesses were never interviewed and all of that time, at that time, the gardai contradicted State pathologist at the inquest. The trial judge, Mr Frank Roe, the late Mr Frank Roe, was a friend of the Flynn family…”
Ceann Comhairle: ”Sorry, please deputy, there’s no need to go into this.”
McGrath: ”It’s not my words, I mean this is what is…”
Ceann Comhairle: “We don’t know, do we?
McGrath: “We do know, Ceann Comhairle, we do know Ceann Comhairle…”
Ceann Comhairle: ”Please don’t be making. Stick to your case and ask your questions, that’s fine.”
McGrath: ”All right. And indeed he directed a jury, after four hours, to quit the defendant, collapsing the case as I said within four hours. He’d also written, at the length of time, I won’t mention the names, to the State, to the DPP, which is very unwise of any man in that position. And it gets worse, The General, Martin Cahill broke into the…”
Ceann Comhairle: ”Please put your question…”
McGrath: ”I will put my question. He broke into and stole the file (on Fr Molloy’s death), the gardaí did some kind of a deal with him to get it because it contained information that would be embarrassing to the State, inverted commas. In return for the file, they dropped charges…”
Ceann Comhairle: ”You’re making serious allegations here.”
Talk over each other.
Ceann Comhairle: “But this is Leaders’ Questions. You’re…”
McGrath: “It is indeed. I’m asking the leader of our country today, our Taoiseach,that, the highest office in the land, when his minister for justice, while in opposition, deputy Alan Shatter, committed to hold an independent inquiry into this sordid affair, and so did Minister Rabbitte, then justice spokesperson for the Labour Party. This is a very serious affair and the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice, who I know is abroad, can deal with this and will have to deal with this, because it’s a disquieting situation that cannot be allowed to continue. I’m asking the Taoiseach will he hold an independent inquiry. Will he ensure that, and I don’t talk about a tribunal, a short, sharp independent inquiry of low cost that can get to the facts. And indeed I salute the journalists who brought this issue and who are maintaining their enquiries into this case. So I ask the Taoiseach will you call, will you hold and independent inquiry now. Your chairman of your own party has written to you asking that.”Kenny said he’ll pass on McGrath’s comments to Mr Shatter, on his return from abroad. He said he wouldn’t commit to an independent inquiry without a full analysis by Mr Shatter. He said it’s not a matter to be taken lightly.”