independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Judge: Gilligan pub accounts must be shown to court

Geraldine Gilligan
Geraldine Gilligan

A JUDGE has rejected an argument that Geraldine Gilligan is unable to produce accounts from a pub operated by her daughter Tracey - and demanded that they be presented to the court.

Judge James O'Donohoe said that Gilligan had Power of Attorney over her daughter's affairs, meaning she could get access to the documents from the business, based in Spain.

The documents are central in  a case taken by Ms Gilligan, estranged wife of convicted gangster John, in her appeal of the State's decision to refuse payment of Jobseekers Allowance, worth €186 a week.

Counsel for Gilligan had told Dundalk District that the documents could not be accessed and insisted that her client received no money from the business.

At a previous hearing, Judge O’Donohoe requested accounts for The Jury's Out pub in Alicante, trading as The Judge's Chambers, operated by Tracey Gilligan.

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

She said that Ms Gilligan's daughter had again today 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. That Power of Attorney is still a valid document.

"I want to see the documents," he added.

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 a pub in Alicante, operated by her daughter Tracey.

Ms Gilligan was also nominated on a Deed of Power of Attorney, which effectively gives her control of her daughter’s assets in the event of Tracey’s death.

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.

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