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'No further prosecution' in Fr Niall Molloy case

Minister Alan Shatter said an independent examination of the garda report on the case will now take place “in the interests of transparency”.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has said that today that no further prosecution will be taken arising out of the death of Fr Niall Molloy in 1985.

The  priest died in violent circumstances in Offaly and media reports, mostly by former Irish Independent journalist Gemma O’Doherty, alleged a possible cover-up by gardaí and some members of the political establishment at the time.

In a statement today, Shatter said that following a review by the Garda Series Crime Review Team, the DPP has determined that no further prosecutions should be made. He said the review involved an extensive examination of the original investigation into the man’s death as well as detailed enquiries into issues subsequently raised.

“Many claims have been made regarding the death of Fr Molloy, and I am anxious to put as much information into the public domain as is possible and appropriate in order to address these claims,” he said.

Independent examination

However the minister said it is not open to him to publish the garda report and instead will facilitate an independent examination of the report, the results of which can be put into the public domain. Shatter today informed the Cabinet that he is consulting with the Attorney General with a view to the appointment of a Senior Counsel to conduct the examination of the report.

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.

Transparency

He said the new examination of the report will aim to identify whether there are matters of significant public concern and whether any form of further inquiry, aside from the criminal investigation, would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth of such matters and would be warranted in the public interest.

“I am taking this step solely in the interests of transparency and of bringing the advice of an independent person into consideration of this matte,” Shatter 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.”

Related: Call for judicial inquiry into death of Fr Niall Molloy>

Read: Garda Commissioner asked about Fr Molloy murder, Love/Hate drama>

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