GAA star ‘golfing’ in Ireland when claiming to be receiving cancer care in US

Businessman gave well-known figure at centre of fraud inquiry a six-figure sum after being told of alleged illness

A businessman owed money by a GAA star, who is now under investigation for fraud, has claimed that the sportsman was playing golf at a time he said he was overseas receiving cancer treatment.

The multimillionaire businessman secured a debt judgment against the retired player for tens of thousands of euro after lending the sports star a six-figure sum at a time when he had told him that he was to be undergoing treatment in the US.

The entrepreneur is one of several friends, acquaintances and business associates of the former player who are owed debts by him and who have made statements to the Garda. The former GAA player is being investigated for alleged fraud and deception by detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

Detailed statement

A number of people who gave him money believe he did not have cancer and have made complaints to the Garda claiming that they were deceived into giving him money.


The businessman, who has made a detailed statement to the Garda about his dealings with the sports star, has declined to comment. Efforts to obtain a response from the former GAA player, who is not being named for legal reasons, have proven unsuccessful. An Garda Síochána has made no comment on the matter.

Some of the alleged payments to the sportsman date back to 2021. He sought financial support from the businessman, telling him that he was due to be paid compensation from a medical negligence claim and that he needed to clear a debt to one of the country’s main banks and was undergoing cancer treatment overseas.

The businessman later discovered that the sports star was playing golf at a well-known Irish course at a time when he told him he would be undergoing treatment in Seattle.

Five-figure judgment

Unable to recover his money, the businessman, who enjoyed a windfall from the sale of a business several years ago, turned to the courts and registered a five-figure judgment against the sports star last year.

The judgment was lower than the total debt as he wanted to make a symbolic statement of securing a debt judgment against him while avoiding higher legal costs by pursuing the full amount. The sports star repaid a four-figure sum, a fraction of the overall amount owing, after the judgment.

Gardaí were said to have been alerted after bank staff became suspicious about the sportsman’s financial dealings. Detectives have made contact with individuals after tracing money transfers.

One couple paid the sports star €5,000 after he told them that he was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, the same cancer for which the wife in the couple was receiving treatment. The couple believes they were targeted and groomed and that his claims that he was suffering from cancer were a ruse playing on their emotions to secure money. The woman repeatedly sought repayment, which was eventually received after she threatened to tell her story in the media.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times