independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Gilligan's wife told to produce pub accounts in dole appeal case

Geraldine Gilligan wife of John Gilligan leaving Dundalk Circuit court this evening.
Pic:Mark Condren
3.12.2013
Geraldine Gilligan, wife of John Gilligan, leaving Dundalk Circuit Court. Photo: Mark Condren

THE estranged wife of convicted gangster John Gilligan is being forced to produce accounts from her daughter's Spanish pub, as she attempts to obtain social welfare payments from the State.

Concerns have been raised that Geraldine Gilligan is receiving money from The Jury's Out pub in Alicante. The pub is run by her daughter, Tracey Gilligan.

Judge James O'Donohoe requested a copy of its accounts to prove that Geraldine is not receiving any funding from it.

However, Tracey has refused to release the accounts to her mother and Geraldine's legal team has insisted it has no access to them.

The judge at Dundalk Circui Court rejected that argument yesterday and demanded that they be presented to the court.

He said that Ms Gilligan had power of attorney over her daughter's affairs, meaning she could get access to the documents.

Ms Gilligan refused to comment following the hearing and, avoiding the media, she immediately went into McKeown's Bar near the courthouse.

The date for a new hearing has not been set, pending the release of the documents.

The documents are an important part of a case taken by Ms Gilligan in her appeal against the State's decision to refuse payment of Jobseeker's Allowance worth €186 a week.

At a previous hearing, the judge requested accounts for The Jury's Out pub in Alicante, trading as The Judge's Chambers.

REFUSED

But counsel for Ms Gilligan, Mairead Carey, said that access to the accounts had been requested, but refused.

She said that yesterday Ms Gilligan's daughter had again verbally refused access to the accounts.

The court was informed of a Supreme Court affidavit from June in which it was claimed that Tracey received just €200 from the pub a week.

"Geraldine Gilligan does not earn a living from Tracey's bar. Geraldine Gilligan does not own Tracey Gilligan's bar," her counsel said.

"I can't give you the accounts for the bar. They have been refused, they have been consistently refused," she added.

But the judge completely rejected this argument and instructed Ms Gilligan to obtain the accounts ahead of the next hearing.

"She'll have to contact a lawyer in Spain to get the documents," he said. "She has the power of attorney over all of the company's affairs."

A previous hearing was told by an unidentified Criminal Assets Bureau officer that it was her decision to refuse the applications for social welfare on the basis of non-disclosure of information.

"I was unable to fully determine her means – and because this is taxpayers' money we require verification when a claim for a social welfare payment is made," she said.

The officer also said it was unclear if Ms Gilligan received any income from the Alicante pub operated by Tracey.

Since then, Ms Gilligan has been receiving an emergency allowance of €186, granted by a HSE community welfare officer, which is being paid until the outcome of the appeal is known.

Irish Independent

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