The former chief executive of the Bóthar charity, David Moloney, has admitted "very significant wrongdoing" in relation to the misappropriation of money from the charity.

The High Court heard that the amount of money alleged to have been taken by him from the charity has increased from €465,000 to almost €770,000 in light of admissions made by him.

Lawyers for the charity said Mr Moloney, from Clino, Newport in Co Tipperary, had made "significant admissions" since allegations that he misappropriated donations to the charity were first revealed earlier this month.

But they said the charity was "troubled" as Mr Moloney had not told them what he had done with the money.

Senior Counsel Frank Beatty said the amount of money alleged to have been misappropriated had now increased from €465,000 to almost €770,000. He said investigations into the matter were ongoing and Bóthar wanted to know where the money had gone.

Lawyers for Mr Moloney said he was currently living a "modest life" with a mortgage and car loans.

Senior Counsel Marguerite Bolger said his only income was a social welfare disability allowance.

Mr Beatty told the court that correspondence received on behalf of Mr Moloney made a number of admissions that along with Bóthar founder and former Chief Executive, Peter Ireton, he had taken more than €300,000 destined for an order of nuns in Tanzania.

Mr Ireton was found dead at his home in Limerick earlier this month.

He also admitted taking more than €100,000 in payments with another founder of Bóthar, Billy Kelly. And he admitted that a 2016 pension was false.

He said he had benefitted along with Mr Ireton from monetary payments made by Bóthar during his employment and had personally benefitted from expenses and other payments. Mr Moloney also said Bóthar had paid for a barn built on his land in 2018.

Mr Beatty said Mr Moloney had said he was embarrassed, saddened and appalled at his behaviour and wanted to rectify the position Bóthar found itself in.

Mr Beatty said this appeared to be quite constructive but the charity had further concerns. In particular it wanted to know what Mr Moloney had done with the money and where the funds were now.

He said Bóthar had not yet received a statement of affairs from him. Mr Beatty said it was "troubling" that Mr Moloney refused to account for what he had done with the money.

He said in the correspondence, Mr Moloney was asserting that the money had been spent on his lifestyle and that he no longer held such monies.

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Earlier this month, the charity, which helped farmers in developing nations through donations of livestock, was granted temporary injunctions freezing Mr Moloney's assets.

He had resigned as CEO in February. Bóthar claimed Mr Moloney misappropriated hundreds of thousands of euro from donations to the charity for his own and his associates' personal use.

Mr Moloney had worked with Bóthar since 1995 and was its CEO for eight years.

Ms Bolger said she had previously been instructed by Mr Moloney to deny all wrongdoing but she was now instructed by him to apologise to Bóthar and to the court for clearly misleading them.

She said it was his intention and his desire to cooperate as far as possible. She said Mr Moloney wanted to make restitution and to co-operate in full.

Ms Bolger said he had only three main assets, a pension fund, the family home and an investment property. But she said, his wife, Olive Moloney may have a beneficial interest in part of those assets.

The couple have two young children, the court heard. The court was also told that Mrs Moloney was anxious to get access to money held in her own name.

Mr Justice Senan Allen said this was difficult and evolving litigation. He ordered that the value of the order freezing Mr Moloney's assets be increased to almost €770,000 but clarified his orders did not apply to funds held solely in his wife's name.

He also ordered that he is to disclose what he did with the money and property taken by him and what assets he has now, by close of business next Tuesday.

The Judge said there was no suggestion that Mrs Moloney had any hand, act or part in what was complained of against her husband.

The matter is due back before the court on Friday 14 May when applications may be made by Mr and Mrs Moloney for the release of funds for legal fees and living expenses.

The court has previously heard that Bóthar has decided to stop all its fundraising activities with immediate effect.