Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

The Disappeared: IRA gang took Catholic priest to pray with victim before his execution

Eamon Molloy (22) was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975
Eamon Molloy (22) was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975

A Catholic priest prayed with a young man as an IRA gang waited close-by to carry out his execution, the victim's brother has said.

Martin Molloy's brother Eamon was one of the Disappeared, who were kidnapped, murdered and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.

Mr Molloy was speaking about his brother's final moments as part of a new BBC documentary on the Disappeared.

A Catholic from north Belfast, Eamon Molloy was abducted by the IRA in 1975.

The 22-year-old was shot dead by the group over claims he was a police informer.

His body was discovered in Dundalk in 1999.

Speaking to the BBC, his brother Martin said said a priest - Father Eugene McCoy - had come forward shortly after the discovery of his body to say he had been with Eamon on the night of his death.

After hearing a knock at his door, he opened it to find a number of men standing at the doorway, the BBC reported.

They said there had been a road crash nearby and the victim needed a priest.

After going with them he then learned the group was holding a prisoner who they believed was an informer.

The men were going to execute him, but the victim had asked for a priest to hear his confession.

A number of men were standing in the doorway, telling him there had been a road accident nearby and the victim needed a priest.

He went with them, but a short time later the men told Father McCoy that they were holding a prisoner who they believed was an informer.

They were going to execute him, but he had asked for a priest to hear his confession before his death.

After being taken to a mobile home in Co Louth, Father McCoy was led into a bedroom where the young man was tied up on a bed.

Distraught, he asked the priest to ensure his wife and mother received two letters written during his abduction.

He also asked him to tell his family he was not an informer.

Despite demands to release him, Father McCoy said his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Eamon's brother Martin said that despite the circumstances of his death, the family took some comfort from Father McCoy's account.

"I did feel Eamon's pain, being there alone, being on his own and obviously knowing he was going to be killed," he told the BBC.

"He was hopeless, he was powerless, there were 12 to 13 men there and I did feel consoled, slightly consoled, that he had the priest with him at the end, before he died, that he could make his peace with God."

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