December 19th, 2014

"I quizzed general’s daughter about my uncle’s death’

Crime DeskBy Niamh O' Connor
JUSTICE: Bill Maher now wants an inquiry into his uncle’s death in 1985
JUSTICE: Bill Maher now wants an inquiry into his uncle’s death in 1985

THE nephew of murdered priest Fr Niall Molloy has revealed he contacted Martin ‘the General’ Cahill’s daughter after learning what the murder weapon was – in her book.

“I didn’t ask Frances Cahill if she still had a copy of the file or if I could have it,” Bill Maher said about the documents the slain crimelord robbed from the DPP’s office in 1987. 

“I just got in touch to acknowledge it was the first time I’d heard what the murder weapon most likely was, and she replied to me.” 

A statue of a horse was used to bludgeon the wealthy 52-year-old to death in July 1985, according to the biography Martin Cahill, My Father.

This week the DPP again decided no charges would be brought in relation to the murder of Fr Molloy, despite evidence of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice afterwards. 

As previously revealed by the Sunday World, gardai travelled to the UK to interview Cahill’s crony, John ‘the Coach’ Traynor, in connection with the theft and return of the State file, which has since gone missing.

Traynor – prime suspect in the murder of Veronica Guerin – turned tout and tipped the cops off about where the General had stashed the Fr Molloy file in return for immunity from prosecution in 1992.

Within weeks of gardai recovering it from an attic in Dublin, Traynor was allowed home on compassionate leave from an English prison and other serious charges he was facing in Ireland were dropped. 

The file on Fr Molloy – who was bludgeoned to death at the home of Richard and Teresa Flynn in Kilcoursey House in Clara, Co. Offaly, after a high-society wedding nearly 30 years ago – contained damning evidence relating to the crime, and the subsequent cover-up.

Fr Molloy’s nephew Bill Maher told the Sunday World about his own meeting with Veronica Guerin, who told him she’d seen what was in the file and had interviewed Cahill about the contents.

The recovered file – which has since gone ‘missing’ – contained letters from a judge to the DPP asking him not to charge Flynn. 

At the aborted manslaughter trial of Richard Flynn, Judge Frank Roe directed a jury to acquit on the grounds that Fr Molloy could have died of a heart attack.

His inquest six weeks later found he died of head injuries having suffered six or more blows to the head, internal bleeding in his kidneys, bruising to his knees and shin, and an abrasion one-and-a-half inches from his groin. 

His relationship with the Flynns had soured after he offered to buy 38 acres to help Richard Flynn out of financial difficulties and paid a deposit of £12,000.

Born into a wealthy family, Fr Molloy grew up in Carrowroe House on the outskirts of Roscommon town.

He went into the horse business with the Flynns after his father gave him £65,000 (worth around e500,000 today), and opened a joint account with Teresa. 

But after discovering that the Land Commission had refused the sale of the 38 acres prior to him handing over the deposit, Fr Molloy asked for his money back.

“Niall had consulted a solicitor the week he died,” Bill Maher told the Sunday World. “His house in Castlecoote had been burgled before his death, but only paperwork was robbed.” 

Bill Maher says he will never give up the fight for justice. 

“I was 35 when Niall was murdered,” Bill recalled. 

“It had a terrible effect on the family. He was my mother’s brother and my dad died three months later, with Niall’s photo on his bedside locker. 

“My mam died three months after that again. My brother Ian, who was the main campaigner in the case for years, died 11 years ago and I’m convinced the stress killed him. 

“It’s two-and-a-half years since the gardai reopened the case, so we’ve had two-and-a-half-years to get used to the idea that nothing was going to happen. It’s a disgrace, it’s a total lack of justice. 

“There isn’t any doubt that Niall was murdered and left to die. His life could have been saved that night, but for hours he was left there as people came and went and failed to contact the gardai. 

“What we want now is a commission of inquiry to look into the circumstances.”