GARDAI are exploring several new lines of enquiry about murdered priest Fr Niall Molloy, including a number of assaults in the weeks leading up to his death.
The move comes as a team of detectives from the
National Bureau of Criminal Investigation sift through new information
on the 1985 killing, which was given to them by this newspaper.
The 10 detectives were put on the case full-time by Commissioner Martin Callinan, on foot of our two-year probe.
The priest's body was found in the master bedroom of the home of his close friends, Richard and Teresa Flynn.
Molloy, a cousin of the 52-year-old curate who was beaten to death in
Clara, Co Offaly, told how the cleric had a black eye shortly before he
died. When Mr Molloy asked his cousin how the bruising happened, the
priest identified the perpetrator and said “he wasn't a very nice
And in recent days, a new witness unearthed by
this newspaper has told officers of another assault on the priest –
three days before his death and by the same individual.
information was given to him by a person who was in the house on the
night of the killing. He said the priest was thrown against a coffee
table and suffered bruising to his limbs on the Thursday before he died.
These injuries came to light in the original post-mortem, but how they occurred has never been explained until now.
has also emerged that the initial attack took place in the downstairs
of the house, but that the priest's body was placed in the master
Blood on the banister, which the gardai failed to identify in the initial investigation, is also being analysed.
are also in possession of new medical evidence, which shows Fr Molloy's
life could have been saved if he had been taken to hospital after the
In separate lab studies, three
pathologists have analysed tissue from the priest's brain, which
indisputably shows he was left for up to six hours before the gardai
Fr Molloy's body bore no defensive or
offensive marks at the time of death, an indication that he did not
have a chance to fight off his killer.
Pathologists also believe the frenzied nature of the killing suggests more than one individual was involved.
Molloy sustained at least five injuries to the head, internal bleeding
in the kidney, and injuries to the groin and collar bone.
Last night, an officer said they were making steady progress on the case and were satisfied with their ongoing enquiries.