As well as entertaining the nation on RTÉ 2FM, Johnny "Smacks" McMahon and Johnny B O'Brien host The 2 Johnnies podcast on Spotify, a popular and long-running show that has grabbed headlines in recent weeks.

On episode 222, Johnny B shared his story of being catfished (the act of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona).

Fans of the show got a taster of this fascinating story at The 2 Johnnies' live show in the 3Arena at the end of April, with Johnny B giving a background to the "GAA Catfish" with an image.

Without being able to show the image on the pod, Johnny Smacks jumps in to describe the girl as looking "somewhere between Nicole Scherzinger and Kylie Jenner".

The duo delved further into the movie-worthy story and revealed the multiple fake accounts which helped spread a web of lies around the four corners of the country.

The story was so gripping, it grabbed the attention of everyone from Dara Ó Briain to Joanne McNally, and has #GAACatfish doing the rounds on Twitter.

Having become single last year, Johnny B found himself back on the market and connecting with a girl on Instagram in early January From there, the broadcaster spent weeks chatting to "Cora O'Donovan" from Limerick, exchanging voice notes and talking well into the night.

"She's absolutely stunning, drop-dead gorgeous," Johnny B told listeners. "She's from Limerick, has 15k followers and is followed by a few people I know personally and is followed by a few well-known people from the industry, from showbiz."

Her profile was active and filled with photos, videos of her dancing and Instagram stories - she had to be genuine. Right?

After some time chatting, "Cora" told Johnny B that she used to go out with a very well known GAA player and mentioned a number of famous friends that the two had in common. While not the most attractive trait, Johnny was well assured that he had people in common with the girl.

As the weeks went by, despite making multiple efforts to meet up, the podcaster was met with excuse after excuse including the death of a family member. Eventually, he was led to meet up with Cora's housemate "Nicki", a real life woman who Johnny B met on multiple occasions.

At this stage, the lads suspected something fishy and decided to do some internet sleuthing in order to untangle the elaborate web of lies.

They decide to nip things in the bud and get in touch with Cora's well known GAA ex-boyfriend, only to discover that he has an almost identical story to that of Johnny B.

By now, having looked at all the players involved in this strange operation, the lads believes that "Nicki" is the woman behind the "Cora" account. When Johnny B rings the woman to accuse her, she is adamant that he is in the wrong and denies the accusations down to the ground.

At this stage, Johnny B decides he has to get in touch with Nicki's boyfriends - a well known GAA player from Munster - to get things out in the open.

Unsurprisingly, things only got more complicated from there.

Following the 3Arena show, where the lads initially shared an abbreviated version of the story, Johnny B received some messages from a woman called "Muireann".

This woman explains that she was at the show and was shocked to discover that her images had been used by the Cora O'Donovan Instagram account.

In just 36 hours, she has managed to find out who is running the account and has had a Zoom call with these girls and hashed everything out. She has also discovered the videos on the account actually belong to an American dancer called Madison Cubbage.

Madison is completely innocent in all of this and had no idea her images were being used in this regard.

The lads and the podcast team had spent weeks looking for the owner of the photos trying everything from reverse image searches to Smacks forking out €79 on an image search app, all to no avail. Meaning that Muireann's fast detective work seemed a little suspect.

You guessed it: "Muireann" is yet another fake account being run by "Nicki".

Once Johnny B realised how far reaching the lies were, he blocked "Cora O'Donovan" on all social media and What's App, but this doesn’t stop doctored images of the two of them together being posted on her Instagram account.

In part 2 of the podcast, the Tipperary men delve deeper into the mind-boggling story, and say that well over 40 individuals - including well known GAA players and media personalities - have been catfished by one person since 2014.

With the rising popularity of these types of stories, such as the unsettling story of Sweet Bobby in the UK and the original sleuthing documentary Catfish with Nev Shulman in the US, it's clear that online deception is alive and well when it comes to online dating.

"I consider myself reasonably intelligent," Johnny B told listeners, "but in this story I was very much taken for a fool."

To try and understand the psychology of a catfish, the lads spoke with Louize Carroll, Chartered Occupational Psychologist, who explained why somebody would go to such great lengths to deceive another person.

"It's very layered and everyone is different," says Louize, "but there is one common denominator about social media and about being online - whether it's online dating or social media - the common denominator is that the potential for anonymity, the lure and seduction of anonymity, actually decreases a person's moral code."

All names have been changed to protect identities. "Nicki" has been offered to come on to the podcast for a right of reply.

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