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Bóthar founder Peter Ireton has been found dead at his home in Limerick


Peter Ireton

Peter Ireton

Peter Ireton

THE co-founder and former chief executive of international aid charity Bóthar, Peter Ireton, has been found dead in Limerick.

Mr Ireton was found at his property in Castletroy on Monday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene.

His death is being treated as a personal tragedy and no one is being sought in connection with it.

"Gardaí are investigating a sudden death incident following the discovery of a body (man in his 60s) on April 19, 2021 at a house in Castletroy, Limerick," a spokesperson said.

A file on the matter will now be prepared for the Limerick Coroner for an inquest to be staged next year.

Mr Ireton's remains were removed to University Hospital Limerick where a full post mortem examination is scheduled to be carried out.

The former charity official would have been 69 later this month. His death came as the charity he helped found with the late Ireland South MEP TJ Maher finds itself at the centre of high profile High Court action over the alleged misappropriation of funds.

Mr Ireton and Mr Maher set up Bothar as an agri-themed charity based in Limerick as a legacy of the Treaty 300 event.

Bothar specialised in the transport of dairy animals to poverty-hit farmers in Africa and became enormously popular with Irish farmers and schoolchildren.

It also expanded into micro-farming supports and even beekeeping for poor farmers across Africa and Asia.

But Mr Ireton's successor as chief executive, David Moloney, is now the focus of a High Court action in which it is alleged he misappropriated €465,000 of the charity funds.

Mr Moloney, through his counsel, has denied wrongdoing.

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The High Court has made an order freezing Mr Moloney's assets.

Mr Moloney, who was suspended as Bothar chief executive last November and resigned in February, has also agreed not to delete any relevant data or access his €600,000 pension.

Mr Ireton was mentioned in an affidavit filed as part of the proceedings. This disclosed that the board of Bóthar was looking into financial transactions involving Mr Ireton.

The investigation related to “substantial payments” allegedly received by him in the four years after he stepped down as CEO in 2011.

Mr Ireton denied any impropriety, saying he had continued working for the organisation until May 2015 and that this was widely known.

Bóthar has been rocked by the shocking revelations in the High Court and has suspended all fundraising activity.

The charity has also warned a number of staff may face redundancy.

In a statement the charity said: "Bóthar is very saddened to learn of the death of one of its founders, Peter Ireton. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

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