I thank the Ceann Comhairle’s office. I thank the Minister of State for being present to reply to the debate but am disappointed that the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, did not see fit to attend this particular debate, given its significance.
On 8 July 1985, Fr. Niall Molloy was murdered. To date nobody has been brought to justice for that murder. There is a view, which I believe is sustained by the facts, that the cover up of that murder was aided and abetted by an omertà-style collusion between the most powerful forces in the State – the senior political establishment, the Judiciary, the Catholic Church, senior medical personnel and the Garda. For that reason alone, it is imperative that the Minister accedes to the request being made by me and Deputies Phelan and McGrath that an independent commission of inquiry be established. The Minister may well reply that the case is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Garda cold case unit. The family has communicated with the Garda Commissioner to indicate its members no longer have confidence in that inquiry. The level of mismanagement of this case by gardaí sustains their case and it is imperative that the Minister should now act on the issue.
There is an enormous amount of information in the public arena at this stage about mysterious fires in coroners’ offices, files being stolen from the Garda and deals done to retrieve those files, but we have no answers. Gardaí investigating gardaí – which in effect is what the cold case unit is doing – is not an appropriate way to proceed. It is very difficult in two minutes to do justice to the degree of mismanagement and the miscarriage of justice inherent in this case, but I urge the Minister to act. He is familiar with the facts; I have written to him on the issue. I urge him to accede to the family’s request for an independent commission of inquiry.