CONVICTED criminal John Gilligan rented an armour plated BMW for his own protection after he survived an assassination attempt last week.
Gardai have warned the 61-year-old, who is just weeks out of jail, that there is an active threat on his life.
Gilligan is said to be spooked after the attempted assassination at the Halfway House pub in Castleknock, north Dublin, last Thursday afternoon.
Senior sources have confirmed that a top-of-the-range black BMW X5 - which was used to collect the former gang boss up from a High Court hearing last week – was kitted out to protect Gilligan.
It is understood that the mobster has since returned the vehicle.
Sources said that the car came with its own driver.
“He rented this bullet proof vehicle for his court appearance - despite his bravado he is terrified after last week's credible murder attempt,” a source explained.
The 08 D registered 4x4 is similar to two vehicles that were seized from Limerick's infamous McCarthy/Dundon gang by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in April, 2008.
Gardai said at the time that the Limerick mob had imported them from Germany.
Ironically both of those vehicles have since been used by the Garda's elite emergency response unit (ERU) which is based at the Special Detective Unit in Harcourt Street.