Former Bothár chief seeks free legal aid to defend case taken by charity
Posted on 2nd June 2021 at 20:34
Charity claims David Moloney misappropriated hundreds of thousands of euro for own use
Bothár’s former chief executive David Moloney is seeking free legal aid for his defence of High Court proceedings brought against him by the charity.
Bothár earlier this year launched proceedings against Mr Moloney, whom it claims misappropriated hundreds of thousands of the charity’s monies for his own use.
The court has granted Bothár orders order preventing the former chief executive reducing his assets below a value of €1.1m.
When the matter came before Mr Justice Senan Allen on Wednesday, Mr Moloney participared via video link and told the judge that the lawyers who previously represented him had come off record.
Mr Moloney said he had approached the legal aid centre in Limerick and wanted the case adjourned for a period to see if his application would be successful.
Lawyers for the charity also sought an adjournment. Frank Beatty SC said investigations into complex matters relating to the missing monies are continuing.
Counsel said it may be necessary to add other parties to the proceedings.
The court heard that Mr Moloney’s wife Olive, against whom no allegations of wrong-doing have been made, is considering her own proceedings against Mr Moloney regarding her interest in his assets.
Mr Justice Allen agreed to adjourn the matter to next month but said the matter could return before then if necessary. The judge said he was deferring any decision to formally join Mrs Moloney to the proceedings before the High Court.
Previously, Mr Moloney, of Clino, Newport, Co Tipperary, admitted that he misappropriated large amounts of monies donated to the charity for his personal use.
Mr Moloney, in an affidavit, said he was generous with the cash which he spent on things such as family holidays and on his friends. He said he never lodged the monies in the bank or kept any of the cash taken.
He also claimed much of what was misappropriated was paid to others, including the late Peter Ireton, founder of the charity.
Mr Moloney said he was deeply sorry, embarrassed and appalled for the damage he has caused. He said he is currently on welfare, which is his sole income.
Bothár does not accept his explanations about what happened to the misappropriated funds.
The admissions came after Bothár, whose activities including aiding poor farmers in developing nations through donations of livestock, secured a High Court injunction freezing assets of Mr Moloney, who resigned his post as chief executive in February.
Mr Moloney worked with Bothár since 1995, and was its chief executive for eight years.
Bothár claims 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 Bothár and the beneficiaries of its charitable objects”.
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