Dave Moloney, CEO of Bothar – How do I know if you are lying to me?

When I read the headlines about Bothar CEO, Dave Moloney and the misappropriated funds I was shocked like so many of you, but it struck an extra chord with me as back in 2018 I had sat down with Dave at our offices and recorded an early episode of the Win Happy podcast.

One thought was it’s awful in any way to be associated with such an awful scenario, bit another one was that I had a record of a “liar” in full flight and wondered could I learn anything by listening back to the recording?

While I was shocked to hear about the level of misappropriation and the length of time it was going on for, I had to reflect back on that conversation with him and something that was nagging me at the time about our chat.

It’s really easy to say now that I felt there was something that wasn’t quite right about our conversation, but quite genuinely there was something at the back of my mind that just wasn’t right, but nothing terribly obvious. I remember sending a link to the podcast when it was published to a friend of mine to ask him what did he think – he felt the same and agreed there was something that wasn’t just right about it.

Ironically it was that person who alerted me to the news about Dave Moloney.

During that session I remember feeling that Dave seemed very tired and possibly jaded from his work and I asked him that during the course of our conversation – I was thinking that maybe I caught him on a bad day and maybe this unusual small charity was choking under immense “over the top” governance in the sector as a result of the high profile bad behaviour of others?

You might have seen a hint of my thoughts at the time this in the blogpost I wrote about the podcast episode:

Blogpost about Dave Moloney podcast

Maybe that was why he was off?

I asked him a bunch of questions that day to learn about his life and career, his route to becoming involved with Bothar as well as a number of things that I normally ask to get a sense of the person. He was asked to join the charity by his old boss, the farm manager Peter Ireton (who was also part of the misappropriation at Bothan).

Very specifically I asked him how the well publicised scandals in the charity sector had affected Bothar – he waxed lyrical about how terrible those actions were and how devastating they were to Bothar and all of the other hard working charities.

He painted a strong picture about how little some people had in the world when we were all “cosy in our beds” and these were the very people his charity were trying to help.

Furthermore, he also painted a vivid picture about where every euro went in the charity and this was one of the reasons why they could be trusted.

Dave Moloney was a very convincing cheat and not the only one in that organisation and he was well able to tell a convincing story, to convince so many people to part with their hard earned money.

A troubling question I have is how can we be lied to so easily and how do we know that this is happening to us?

I interviewed him for over an hour face to face, we chatted beforehand and we chatted after and I had been introduced to him by a good friend of mine who was also working for the charity.

Should I have known that he was lying, should I have picked it up in the body language or in the words? – As I said I did feel there was something “off” but not enough to doubt him.

To protect yourself should you obey that “instinct” about someone even if it is just a hint that something isn’t quite right?

You might listen for yourself and tell me if you could smell the lies?

The challenges of getting 430 goats off a plane and running a charity with CEO of Bothar, Dave Moloney

The saddest thing of all is the damage to the charity and the people it could have helped – they are celebrating 30 years and the very ironic headline on their website reads:

Celebrating 30 years of helping people to help themselves

Can you spot a liar?

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

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