Double-killer John Gallagher's family don't believe his apology
THE estranged family of double-killer John Gallagher have dismissed his apology, insisting they know "the real John".
They were responding yesterday to Gallagher's claims that he regrets killing his girlfriend and her mother in 1988.
Gallagher (46) was released from the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin on Friday, six weeks after giving himself up.
He absconded in 2000 after spending 12 years there. He had been found guilty but insane at his trial.
He claimed he returned to the facility so that he could see more of his elderly mother, Margaret.
Some family members however, believe his move is linked to her fortune, worth at least the €300,000 she inherited when her husband died.
"John had 25 years to issue an apology," said a family spokeswoman in a statement.
"He speaks now of moving on and of forgiveness and of protecting his children. What about our lives and what about our children? Since he moved to Strabane in 2003, our lives have been hell and it's all because of him.
''We can't sleep in our beds at night knowing that he can be outside our door at any time.
"It is easy saying these things. But we know the real John Gallagher and the different sides to him. We don't believe a word of what he has said.''
Gallagher's family have sought garda protection but gardai say they can only act if he breaks the conditions of his discharge.
These require him to stay away from relatives of his victims and his estranged family and that he remains within a five-mile radius of Lifford.
Gallagher said he was now a spiritual man and that only he and God knew how sorry he was for killing Annie Gillespie and her mother Anne in the grounds of Sligo General Hospital.
Meanwhile, gardai are continuing to review how they handled the case.