DJ is fine - it was a panic attack

Niall O'Connor and Claire Murphy

DJ Carey was 'on the mend' last night after suffering a panic attack due to stress.

The hurling legend collapsed in a garda station and was rushed to hospital amid fears he was having a heart attack.

However, his brother Martin told the Herald today: "DJ's very much on the mend. We believe he suffered a panic attack. It was an awful shock but thank God he's grand."

The 41-year-old former All-Star was due to be transferred to St James Hospital in Dublin for tests this afternoon.

Carey has been in the media spotlight in recent weeks due to financial problems and the breakdown of his high-profile relationship with businesswoman and former Dragon's Den star Sarah Newman (pictured above).

She told the Herald today: "With all due respect I would rather not comment. I've got some very upset children in the house and I would rather not."

The All-Ireland hero was being treated by doctors after suffering chest pains and palpitations yesterday morning.

The Herald understands that he was filling in forms in a Kilkenny garda station when he suddenly collapsed.

Friends of Carey said that Carey was under “incredible stress” which he was finding it “difficult to cope with”.

“DJ's on the mend. But we have to await the results of tests. The ordeal has hit the family like a ton of bricks,” said a well- placed source.


“Everyone's been focusing on his love life, Sarah [Newman] and his personal problems. Things got too much for him,” the source added.

The father of two was filling in routine forms at the station when he felt a strong pain in his chest, with fears initially that he was suffering a heart attack.

Speaking to the Herald this morning, his brother Martin said the family have received “unbelievable” messages of support.

“We believe it was chest pains and he suffered a panic attack. However we can't for certain until we see the test results.

“This was an awful shock to the family but he's very much on the mend. The level of support we've received is just unbelievable.”

Carey's ex-wife, Christine Preston, said that the family was upset by reports he had suffered a heart attack.

“It's been an upsetting day because of all of the stories going round, but DJ is not at death's door or anything like that.

“He had chest pains and he collapsed but his heart is fine. Our sons Sean and Mike have been seeing this stuff on Facebook and on the radio about his father but his heart is fine.

“This is stress more than likely and that's all there is to it.”

Messages of support flooded in for the popular sportsman today.

Dubs ace Bernard Brogan sent his best wishes, adding: “Terrible to hear about DJ Carey, let’s hope he is back on his feet soon.”

Carey's two sons Sean and Mike visited their father in hospital last night along with other family members.

It emerged at the weekend that his ex-fiancee Sarah Newman called in auditors to examine the couple's business.

The firm wrote off €200,000 after the auditors discovered a series of discrepancies which gardai are investigating.

The couple also had judgments for more than €9m against them both in the Commercial Court last year in favour of AIB Mortgage Bank.