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Independent exam of report into Fr Molloy's death to take place

Tuesday, 5th November, 2013 7:18pm

Story by Laura Ryder
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Independent exam of report into Fr Molloy's death to take place

Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Independent exam of report into Fr Molloy's death to take place

Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has today (Tuesday) announced that an independent examination of the report of the serious crime review team into the case of the 1985 death of Fr Niall Molloy in Clara is to take place.

Minister Shatter told the Cabinet today he is consulting with the Attorney General with a view to appointing a senior counsel for the job.

The job of the counsel will be twofold: first to prepare a report that can be put into the public domain on any issues of public interest that may arise from the report and second to identify whether there are matters of significant public concern arising from the examination and if so whether any form of further inquiry, aside from the criminal investigation, would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth of such matter and would be warranted in the public interest.

Fifty-two year old Roscommon priest Fr Molloy died after a society wedding in the Clara house of Richard Flynn in 1985, but nobody has ever been convicted in relation to his death.

A review of the case by the DPP led to a decision earlier this year that no prosecutions would result. The Garda Commissioner subsequently submitted a report to Minister Shatter on the matter.

Speaking today Minister Shatter said he is anxious to put as much information into the public domain as possible and appropriate in order to address claims made regarding Fr Molloy’s death.

“I am conscious that to leave the matter at that would allow baseless assertions to be made that the government has some interest in suppressing information about this case when, in fact, what is at issue is having due regard to the rule of law; the independence of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; and protecting the rights of all,” Minister Shatter said.

“I am taking this step solely in the interests of transparency and of bringing the advice of an independent person into consideration on this matter,” he added. “I should emphasise that it does not imply in any way that I am dissatisfied with the work undertaken by the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.”

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