27 Jun 2022

Ex-Bóthar boss David Moloney seeks free legal aid

Ex-Bóthar boss David Moloney seeks free legal aid

Bóthar's former CEO David Moloney is seeking to have his legal expenses of civil proceedings brought against him by the charity covered by the free legal aid scheme.

Earlier this year Bóthar launched High Court proceedings against Mr Moloney, who they claim misappropriated hundreds of thousands of the charity's monies for his own use.

The court also granted Bóthar orders order preventing the former CEO from reducing his assets below a value of €1.1m.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Senan Allen on Wednesday he was informed that lawyers that had previously represented Mr Moloney, who attended the hearing via video link, had come off record.

Mr Moloney said that he had approached the Legal Aid centre in Limerick about getting legal aid, and wanted the case adjourned for a period to see if his application for legal aid is successful.

Lawyers for the charity also sought an adjournment.  Bóthar, represented by Frank Beatty SC told the court that investigations into what are complex matters relating to the missing monies are continuing. 

Counsel also told the court that it may be necessary to add other parties to the proceedings at a later stage.

The court also heard that Mr Moloney's wife Olive, against whom no allegations of wrong doing have been made was also considering her own proceedings against Mr Moloney regarding her interest in his assets.

Mr Justice Allen agreed to adjourn the matter to a date next month. However, the matter could return before the court before then if necessary.

The judge also said that he was deferring any decision to formally join Mrs Moloney to the proceedings before the High Court.

Previously Mr Moloney admitted that he misappropriated large amounts of monies donated to the charity for his personal use.

Mr Moloney, in a sworn statement to the court, said he that he was generous with the cash which he spent on things such as family holidays, on his friends, but never lodged the monies in the bank nor kept any of the cash taken.

He also claims that much of what was misappropriated was paid to others, including the late Bóthar founder Peter Ireton.

Mr Moloney said he was deeply sorry, embarrassed and appalled for the damage he has caused.  He is currently on welfare, which is his sole income.

Bóthar does not accept his explanations about what happened to the misappropriated funds.

The admissions came after Bóthar, whose activities including aiding poor farmers in developing nations through donations of livestock, secured a High Court injunction freezing the assets of Mr Moloney, who resigned his post as the organisation's CEO in February.

Mr Moloney of Clino, Newport, Co Tipperary, worked with Bóthar since 1995, and was its CEO for eight years.

Bóthar claims in its proceedings that an on-going investigation into his conduct has revealed that he is "guilty of an egregious breach of trust and an appalling dereliction of his duty to Bóthar and the beneficiaries of its charitable objects."

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