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Couple who aimed to clean up in Celtic Tiger ended up bust

HURLING legend DJ Carey's business difficulties came to a head when his former partner Sarah Newman called in the auditors to his firm.

Intense business and personal relationships were under serious strain for the Kilkenny legend in recent years.

While his businesses thrived in the boom years, the firms were seriously hit by the recession.

The Dragons' Den star became a director of DJ Carey Enterprises in 2009 and ran the business along with Mr Carey after his sister Catriona stepped down as a director.

A rival cleaning business was set up by Catriona and other family members that same year.

Catriona Carey, herself a former international hockey and camogie star, set up the company in their hometown of Gowran, Co Kilkenny, after a high-profile falling-out with DJ.

The directors of Carey Cleaning Supplies are Catriona, alongside her sister Liz Carey and mother Maura.

Separately, Ms Newman called in the auditors to DJ Carey Enterprises because she noticed that suppliers were not getting paid.

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

DJ Carey Enterprises is one of three firms linked to the former hurler.

Alton and Dublin Janitorial Centre were liquidated in February 2011, leaving debts of €1.7m.

However, debts at DJ Carey's modest cleaning business were minuscule when compared to the losses suffered on the couple's multi-million property portfolio.

In their years together, DJ Carey and Sarah Newman speculated on investment and personal properties stretching as far as Switzerland.

Chalet Grace, named after Sarah's daughter, was a luxurious €10.5m Swiss holiday home overlooking the Matterhorn.

The real scale of their gamble on property was unveiled at the Commercial Court in May last year when Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted a judgment order against them for the repayment of almost €9.5m to Allied Irish Banks.