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.”