Written answers

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Department of Justice and Equality

Crime Investigation

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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464. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if the independent examination of the report of the Garda serious crime review team relating to the death of Fr. Niall Molloy, by Dominic McGinn SC, will involve speaking to the family of Fr. Niall Molloy. [17299/14]

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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465. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if the independent examination of the report of the Garda serious crime review team relating to the death of Fr. Niall Molloy will involve interviewing a journalist (details supplied) who has carried out extensive investigative work relating to this case. [17300/14]

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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466. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if the independent examination of the report of the Garda serious crime review team relating to the death of Fr. Niall Molloy, by Dominic McGinn SC, will involve speaking to any witnesses who gave statements to the Garda serious crime review team. [17301/14]

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)
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499. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update regarding the review of the Fr. Niall Molloy case; when he expects to receive the report on the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18029/14]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 464 to 466, inclusive, and 499 together.

As I have previously informed the House, Mr. Dominic McGinn, Senior Counsel, is at present carrying out an independent examination of the report of the Serious Crime Review Team relating to the Garda investigation into the death of Fr. Niall Molloy.

This independent examination will, in accordance with the terms of reference, comprise two main elements—

1. Counsel will examine what is a very detailed report that, for legal reasons, cannot be put into the public domain in its current form, and will prepare a report which can be put into the public domain on any issues of public interest which may arise from the report, and

2. Counsel will identify matters, if any, of significant public interest or concern that would warrant examination by a further inquiry and in respect of which such further inquiry would have a reasonable prospect of establishing the truth.

Accordingly, Mr. McGinn's terms of reference involve an examination of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team's report and not a new investigation or evidence gathering exercise. The Serious Crime Team report deals comprehensively with the issues of concern raised by the family and others as requiring further inquiry, including arising from detailed statements made to the Team by a representative of the family and the journalist referred to.

Mr. McGinn will be aware of these issues from his examination of the report and associated statements. A liaison officer has been appointed by An Garda Síochána to assist with any requests for clarification.

As I have previously stated, my priority is to allow the Senior Counsel to carry out the examination so that the maximum amount of information can be put into the public domain at the earliest possible date, at which point I will also of course fully consider the outcome of the examination concerning any further inquiry. While Mr. McGinn's terms of reference require that he complete this examination as soon as possible, it is not possible to provide a precise timescale in this regard. I expect, however, that his work is well advanced at this point.

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