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DJ Carey appears in court over 21 charges of fraud in alleged cancer treatment scam

GAA hurling star DJ Carey stood straight-backed, his eyes ahead, his hands joined in front of his lower waist as the judge in Blanchardstown District Court was told on Friday morning of the multiple fraud charges he is facing.

The 52 year old, who won nine All Stars and five All-Ireland senior medals during the greatest era in the history of Kilkenny hurling, had earlier been charged in Blanchardstown Garda station and had made no reply, Det Sgt Michael Bourke, from Waterford Garda station, told Judge John O’Leary.

Mr Carey is facing 21 fraud charges – 19 of deception and two of using a false instrument – with the billionaire Denis O’Brien, former Wexford hurler Larry O’Gorman, and former Clare hurler Tony Griffin among the 23 people named as Mr Carey’s victims in the frauds he allegedly conducted.

The charges allege that Mr Carey induced people to give him money having fraudulently claimed to have cancer and that he needed money to obtain treatment, contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

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While most of the charges relate to alleged offences between dates unknown during 2021 and 2022, at places unknown, the deception charge that mentions Mr O’Brien as the victim cites dates unknown between January 1st, 2014 and September 18th of last year.

One of the two false instrument charges also cites the same dates. It alleges that, on a date unknown between January 1st, 2014 and September 18th, 2022 at an unknown location within the State, that Mr Carey “did use an instrument which was and which [he] knew or believed to be, a false instrument” with the intention of inducing another to accept it as genuine, contrary to section 26 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

The book of evidence was ready, the court was told, and the judge sent the case forward to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where it will be mentioned on November 3rd next. Judge O’Leary granted free legal aid after Mr Carey’s solicitor, Edward Hughes, said it was likely to be a “heavily documented prosecution”. Judge O’Leary, in granting the application, noted from the statement of means given to him that Mr Carey had “no income whatsoever”.

There was no objection to bail and the conditions, which include Mr Carey’s own bond of €300, his signing on daily at a Garda station, and his keeping the gardaí informed if he travels abroad, were read out and agreed. Judge O’Leary said Mr Carey must not contact any witnesses or potential witnesses in the case.

The member of the Kilkenny teams that won the All-Ireland in 2000, 2002 and 2003 wore dark pants and a black puffer jacket with an Institute of Technology Carlow crest. No address for the sports star was read out during the hearing.

During the 1990s Mr Carey was the biggest draw in hurling, with his rise to become Ireland’s most famous GAA star happening at a time of significant growth in the media coverage of Gaelic games.

The increased interest in the GAA in turn created greater commercial opportunities for top players. Mr Carey’s fame also brought intense media interest, not just in relation to his sporting career but his life generally.

Since retiring from the senior inter-county game in 2006, Mr Carey has worked at various times in the media as a hurling analyst and newspaper columnist, but was also involved in coaching and management.

He managed the team from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, and also the under-20 and under-21 Kilkenny teams. Ahead of the 2020 season he accepted a role as selector with the senior team under Brian Cody, but stepped away from the role after just one season.