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Thursday 23 November 2017

Stresses and strains of past year affected star's health

HE was our first "celebrity" hurler but DJ Carey knows that being famous can be a lonely business.

Since he split with his fiancee Sarah Newman, Mr Carey has suffered a series of health scares.

He was rushed to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny after he collapsed in a garda station suffering from heart palpitations in April.

In the initial hours after his admission, DJ had a handful of visitors but apart from these few hours, he spent much of his three days alone in St Luke's hospital.

Ms Newman, his partner of nine years, did not visit.

There's no such thing as an easy break-up, but Ms Newman's frank disclosures on the airwaves are sure to have impacted on Mr Carey.

While she talked at length about how she's had a "rough time over the past year professionally and personally", the down-to-earth former Kilkenny hurler kept silent about the break-up.

That is generally his way.

It has now emerged that the 41-year-old father of two subsequently had to undergo surgery in hospital to have brain clots removed.

Brain clots can be life threatening but Mr Carey put on a brave smile when he was out with friends last week. He chatted and joked as he told them he was "feeling great" after the operation.

While his physical health has caused concern with this latest scare, the past 12 months have been extremely stressful for him.

His family has been bitterly divided since Ms Newman called in auditors to investigate €200,000 missing from their cleaning company.

Ms Newman took over as a director of the firm DJ Carey Enterprises in 2009 and ran the business with him after his sister, Catriona Carey, stepped down as a director.

Ms Carey had first joined DJ in business after his former wife, Christina, had stepped down as a director.

But the business relationship between them suffered a dramatic, and much commented on, breakdown in 2009.

She parted ways with the company and set up a rival firm, Carey Cleaning Supplies.

And far from going out on her own, Catriona went into business with other family members, including their mother Maura.

In February last year Mr Carey and former 'Dragon's Den' star Ms Newman were forced to pull the plug on the loss-making DJ Carey Enterprises and related companies.

The companies went into liquidation with annual losses of close to €500,000 and debts of €1.7m.

Mr Carey suffered, by his own admission, embarrassment and shame over the failure of his business.

However, compared to later revelations of the couple's property empire, the cleaning business was run on a modest scale.

When they were together, Mr Carey and Ms Newman built up a massive, and hugely indebted, portfolio of investment and personal properties.

By far the most spectacular was Chalet Grace -- a luxurious €10.5m Swiss holiday home beside the Materhorn.

The scale of their property portfolio was revealed at the Commercial Court in May last year when Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted a judgment order to AIB for more than €9.5m against the couple.

The Swiss chalet was put on the market following the AIB judgment case, and was sold at the end of last year.

But Mr Carey has weathered storms before.

He bounced back after the breakdown of his marriage in 2003. That news leaked out just before a Kilkenny All-Ireland final in Croke Park.

Mr Carey is overcoming these latest challenges but the past year has undoubtedly impacted on his health.

Irish Independent

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