Statement from relatives of Fr Molloy:
‘We’re taking a case for neglect of duty to GSOC’ – Family of murdered priest
May 4th 2015: The family of Fr Niall Molloy is taking a case for ‘neglect of duty’ against the Gardai for failing to properly investigate the death of the Roscommon priest 30 years ago. Relatives of the murdered priest are poised to make a complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) over serious shortcomings in the initial 1985 investigation, which they have described as “botched” and “shambolic”.
The family’s decision comes in the wake of the McGinn report published just over a month ago, which highlighted a series of shortcomings in the initial Garda investigation. The shortcomings were identified by the Garda’s own Serious Crime Review Team, which re-examined the unsolved killing of the 52-year-old cleric between 2010 and 2013.
In a media statement relatives of the priest said the failure of Gardai to investigate the case properly could not now be ignored. “We have carefully considered the findings of the McGinn report and the serious shortcomings identified in the initial Garda investigation, which we believe cannot now be ignored by the Garda Ombudsman,” Henry McCourt, a nephew of Fr Molloy’s, said. “The McGinn report has only confirmed our long held opinion that the initial investigation in 1985 was botched at best and we intend to make a complaint for neglect of duty to the Garda Ombudsman,” he added.
It will not be the first time for the Molloy family to make a complaint to GSOC. Family members were previously advised that they were outside the permitted time period to make a complaint. This time, however, the family believes that the McGinn findings arm them with certain new facts to take a case against Gardai.
“Based on what the McGinn report has found and other official documentation that has come to our attention we’re going to make a fresh complaint to the Garda Ombudsman, which has some discretion to consider complaints relating to cases that are more than 12 months old,” Bill Maher, another nephew of Fr Molloy’s, said.
“We have no doubt that Gardai did not investigate Fr Niall’s death properly. The shortcomings identified are so basic that we’re left wondering was it pure incompetence on the part of Gardai or has there been a cover-up,” he added. The family also strongly believe that the failures in the Garda investigation alone call for a commission of investigation.
“The abject failure of Gardai to investigate our uncle’s death properly, even though 30 years ago, cannot be ignored. Questions remain and are even more pressing now, so much so, that they alone warrant a commission of investigation. This is about accountability; someone must stand up and take responsibility,” Mr McCourt said. Mr Maher added that Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan should also clarify recent comments that the McGinn report would bring “some comfort” to the family.
“We are confounded and deeply upset by the Garda Commissioner’s remarks. How could this report, which shows such flagrant failings in basic policing, bring us any comfort?” he said. In the meantime the family is also considering what other options remain open to them, including taking a case to the European Court for Human Rights.