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Maeve Dineen: Reputations are easily damaged, as the ESRI is finding out

REPUTATIONS take years to earn but can be lost in a flash. I thought of this last week as I watched, with some dismay, as the Economic and Social Research Institute committed reputational suicide while Barry Maloney's Balderton Capital earned considerable praise for the way it dealt with problems surrounding social networking site Habbo Hotel, following allegations that the site was being used by paedophiles to target children.

In retrospect, Mr Maloney was dealt a much harder hand than the ESRI. A company in which Balderton Capital has a substantial stake was accused on 'Channel 4 News' of funding an outfit that enabled paedophiles to prey on children. The accusations were made on prime time television.

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