Scandal | 

GAA star in fraud probe approached Gaelic Players Association for funding for cancer treatment

The GPA has a benevolent fund in place to support current and past players who are experiencing financial difficulties.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is carrying out a full-scale investigation. Photo: Sportsfile


A former GAA player at the centre of an alleged fraud scandal approached the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) seeking funding for cancer treatment abroad.

Sources revealed that he sought financial support from the representative body for inter-county GAA players.

The GPA has a benevolent fund in place to support current and past players who are experiencing financial difficulties.

However, it is not clear whether he sought money directly from this fund.

The GPA declined to comment when contacted.

In the last week the GAA community was shocked to learn of fraud allegations against one of its most decorated former stars and how he allegedly used connections from his playing days to seek donations to travel abroad for cancer treatment.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) is currently carrying out a full-scale investigation after it received complaints from some of his donors and is looking to determine whether he was in fact diagnosed with cancer and what he used the money - estimated to be in and around €1m - for.

He has claimed to numerous individuals that he is suffering from a rare bone marrow cancer and needs to receive urgent care abroad in the US.

However, those who donated to him out of kindness now fear they may have been deceived. While claiming to be unable to afford the treatment himself, he was a regular at luxury hotels and golf courses.

He has also experienced financial troubles, with a number of debt judgments being secured against him over the years.

The Irish Independent has learned that gardaí received intelligence on the individual in 2017 due to concerns about mortgage documentation.

However, it was never acted on or investigated.

A source said: “For it to be acted upon, someone would have had to make a formal complaint, but no formal complaint was ever made so it was never followed up.”

It is understood the intelligence was received by gardai from the Revenue Commissioners.

Gardaí are now examining the sports star’s finances.

Some individuals are alleged to have given him significant six-figure sums, while others gave him payments of around €5,000.

A well-known retired hurler who allegedly gave him €5,000 was also among those impacted, but said he did not wish to comment.

Another former GAA player who allegedly gave him €15,000 also did not wish to comment.

Members of the GNECB have been taking statements from individuals and have launched a fraud investigation. It is understood more people have come forward in the last week.

Gardaí confirmed they are investigating allegations of fraud in the eastern division.

“An Garda Síochána does not comment on named persons,” they said.

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