Sunday 25 September 2016

Papers submitted by John Gilligan in 'disgraceful state' as he tries to halt sale of three properties

Published 07/06/2016 | 10:52

John Gilligan arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing
John Gilligan arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing

Convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan brazenly walked into the Four Courts today despite the fact that there have been two attempts to kill him.

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The gang boss is trying one last roll of the dice to stop three properties being taken off him by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

John Gilligan arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing
John Gilligan arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing

He had a case at the Supreme Court in his ongoing battle to save the houses from seizure, including the bungalow beside the former Jessbrook equestrian centre which was successfully taken from him and sold by the CAB.

Wearing a light grey suit and an open neck white shirt, Gilligan carried a number of folders under his arm as he walked boldly down the quays, smiling at photographers as he neared the entrance to the courts.

He appeared to be tanned and in good health but refused to answer any questions about the case with the CAB, his health since recovering from a number of gunshot wounds in a previous attempt on his life, or whether he still fears his life is under threat.

He walked straight to the Law Library where he met with his legal team before the case which was as scheduled to begin at 11am.

The Supreme Court has today told the legal team representing John Gilligan that the legal papers submitted in his efforts to stop the Criminal Assets Bureau seizing three properties from him are "in a disgraceful state".

Chief Justice Susan Denham told QC John Hardy that the file submitted made the court process very difficult.

Reporter Conor Feehan speaks to John Gilligan he arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing
Reporter Conor Feehan speaks to John Gilligan he arrives at The Four Courts for a Supreme court hearing

"They are indexed wrong, there is no call for it," she said, adding that they were too long and featured a lot of duplication.

Mr Justice John McMenamin echoed her view and asked had QC John Hardy read the index.

"Yes" said, QC John Hardy.

"Did you understand it?" asked the Chief Justice.

"Yes" said, QC John Hardy.

"How did you understand it?" asked the Chief Justice.

QC John Hardy said every effort was made to reduce duplication and control the amount of paperwork in the file.

Gilligan was released from prison in October 2013 after serving 17 years for drug trafficking.

Not long after that there was a plot to murder him but the gunman ran into a pub near where Gilligan was drinking instead of the one he was actually in.

Then in March 2014 a gunman burst into the house he was staying in at Neilstown and gunned him down.

The pint-sized gangster was rushed to Connolly hospital for life-saving surgery, and he discharged himself while still in a wheelchair and fled to the UK.

But he looked in good health today as he walked cockily to court to save the Kildare property, as well as two west Dublin houses in Corduff Avenue and Willsbrook View.

The estimated value of the three properties is around €600,000.

Gilligan is believed to be staying at the Kildare property while waiting for his day in court, but he never leaves it as he has made too many enemies and doesn’t know who wants him dead.

He is blamed by the criminal fraternity for the CAB being set up in the first place.

Gilligan remains one of the chief suspects for the murder of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin.

The heroic INM reporter was gunned down in her car on the Naas Road 20 years ago this month in June 1996. It is believed Gilligan ordered the assassination after Guerin wrote a number of articles on the gangland figure that exposed his flourishing drug-dealing empire.

“He’s one of the most hated men in Ireland and tried to get support from his old cronies when he came out of prison, but nobody wants to go near him. Everyone blames him for the creation of the CAB,” said one source.

The High Court has already ruled that the three Gilligan properties were bought with the proceeds of crime but he has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

And if that court rules against him, Gilligan, his wife Geraldine, daughter Tracey and son Darren, will be evicted from the properties and they will be sold off with the cash given back to the state.

The CAB succeeded in selling another of Gilligan’s homes in Lucan in March 2015 for €318,000.

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