GAA star at centre of fraud probe alleged to have tapped rich business pals for cash to fund cancer treatment
• 4h ago
A GAA star who is being investigated for fraud is alleged to have tapped some of Ireland’s richest business people as well as politicians for cash to fund medical treatment overseas.
The sportsman is alleged to have received around €200,000 from one businessperson, while another wealthy individual is alleged to have offered generous support as well as the use of luxury properties.
He is further alleged to have approached politicians asking for financial support to fund expensive cancer treatment abroad, according to sources.
Detectives are investigating complaints from people who are believed to have given substantial sums to the sports figure on the basis that it would be used to fund his treatment.
A value “in the high six figures” — or close to €1m — has been placed on the alleged scam. The sports star, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was first reported to gardaí last year. Other people have since come forward.
A briefing was given to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) in Dublin in November and it has been providing specialist help.
An assessment has been made about the complaints and a full-scale fraud investigation is under way.
The probe is likely to involve an in-depth examination of the sporting figure’s finances and bank accounts and will attempt to establish whether any of the funds obtained were used to pay for cancer treatment abroad.
Local people with knowledge of the allegations say they have caused sadness and disappointment among the sportsman’s wide network of friends and supporters.
The individual concerned is popular and widely admired in sports and business circles. Although news of the garda investigation was disclosed in the media on Friday night, he is believed to have been approaching wealthy and not-so-wealthy individuals for cash for medical treatment for some time.
Investigators have been told approaches were also made to supporters and fans in GAA circles and the cash sums requested ranged from several thousand euros to five-figure sums.
“This has been going on for quite some time,” said one local person with knowledge of the allegations.
“Some people who got stung are quite upset by it. The question people are asking is, what did he do with the money?”
Gardaí confirmed an investigation has begun into fraud allegations. A spokesperson declined to comment further as the investigation is continuing.