Ireland's greatest modern hurler, Kilkenny’s DJ Carey, and his partner Sarah Newman have been ordered by court to repay €9.5 million to Allied Irish Bank.
They are the latest high-profile celebrities to be cited as victims of Ireland’s economic crisis.
The borrowings were for three properties at the Ladycastle estate in the luxurious K Club in Co. Kildare, and at Mount Juliet golf resort in Co. Kilkenny.
In a senior inter-county career that lasted for 15 years between 1990 and 2005 Carey, who is 40, won five All-Ireland titles, 10 Leinster titles, four National Hurling League titles and two Railway Cup titles with Leinster.
His tally of 34 goals and 195 points from 57 championship games marks him out as one of the top five scorers of all time. He is rated alongside Cork’s Christy Ring as the two greatest hurlers of all time.
Carey’s big achievement outside sport was a successful business venture based in his home village of Gowran, a wholesale company that sells hygiene products to other businesses, and which hit financial trouble earlier this year.
His seven-year marriage, in which he has two children, broke down in 2002, and he later became involved with British-born millionairess Sarah Newman, a mother of two whose marriage was also on the rocks.
Newman, 40, who moved to Ireland in 1994, became a dot.com millionaire after the sale of an online hotel bookings marketing business which she set up. She also starred as an investor on the RTE series for budding entrepreneurs, Dragon’s Den.
She is ladies’ golf captain at the K Club and owns a multi-million euro chalet overlooking the Matterhorn in Zermatt, in Switzerland.
The Commercial Court in Dublin on Monday ordered Carey and Newman to repay almost €9.5 million to AIB. The debts were on three properties and on guarantees each gave in respect of the other’s liabilities.
Their lawyers told the court they were consenting to the court orders.
The court heard Carey’s €8,025,125 mortgage was in arrears by January this year, and the bank called in the loan. Newman’s €1,503,285 loan had gone into what were described as relatively minor arrears and that too was called in.
Justice Peter Kelly allowed a four-week stay on the order against Carey to allow time for him to see if he could come to an arrangement with the bank.
However, he refused such a stay in Newman’s case after being told by AIB it may be able to recover some of the money owed if it moves against a Swiss property owned by her.