Former GAA star sought bailout help from well-known Irish-American

Ex-player accused of fake cancer fraud called prominent figure ‘out of the blue’ looking to tap wealthy Irish-Americans for financial aid

The former GAA star who is under investigation for alleged fraud approached a prominent Irish-American figure last month seeking help to secure a financial bailout to repay his debts, the Irish Times has learned.

The well-known figure in Irish-American circles said he was contacted “out of the blue” on his mobile phone by the former player in early January seeking the names of wealthy people from his home county living in the US who might help him resolve his financial difficulties.

The sports man told the individual that he was ill and needed financial support urgently.

“He listed a long number of medical and financial problems he had,” the Irish-American said.


The former player, who is not being named for legal reasons, has been accused of taking large sums of money from people for specialist medical treatment for cancer.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is investigating whether the retired player deceived friends and business associates into lending him money for medical and other bills.

They are investigating whether or not he falsely claimed that he had cancer to a number of people from whom he sought money.

The GAA star and the alleged cancer claim fraud

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People have made statements of complaint to Gardaí claiming that they gave the retired player sums ranging from a few thousand euro to more than €100,000.

The sportsman’s call to the prominent Irish-American came soon after detectives visited and searched a premises where the former sports star was staying last December.

According to the Irish-American figure, the former GAA player asked him for help finding “a couple of hundred thousand” from rich people from his county so he could repay his debts and “start again”. He said he had never spoken to the sports star before and was surprised by the call.

“It was a strange call, completely out of the blue. There was no context. The main thing I remember was the urgency in his voice. He seemed like a guy who was deeply troubled,” he said.

He told the sportsman he did not know any wealthy people he could refer him to.

Speaking to The Irish Times, he expressed concern at how agitated the former player was on the call and how he considered contacting a support group for GAA players for a time but ultimately decided not to. He has not received any further contact from the former athlete.

One businessman loaned the sports star a six figure sum and later secured a debt judgment against the player in court. The businessman has claimed the sportsman was playing golf at a time when he had told him he was receiving cancer treatment overseas.

The former GAA player has been the subject of a number of other debt judgments.

The sportsman approached another man seeking money for treatment for multiple myeloma, the same cancer that the wife was being treated for.

The woman gave him €5,000. The couple believe they were targeted by the former GAA star and they allege that his claims that he had cancer were a ruse to secure money from them.

She repeatedly sought repayment and the money was eventually repaid in cash after she threatened to go to the media.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times