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Thursday 18 September 2014

John Gilligan still in wheelchair two months after shooting

Published 14/05/2014 | 06:55

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Criminal John Gilligan leaving hospital
WEAK: Wheelchair-bound and looking frail, crime lord John Gilligan left hospital on Sunday night
John Gilligan leaves Portlaoise Prison. Photo: Collins
John Gilligan leaves Portlaoise Prison. Photo: Collins

Stalked crime boss John Gilligan is still in a wheelchair and looking over his shoulder two months after fleeing the country.

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The pint-sized thug, who was gunned down at his brother’s Clondalkin home in March, is slowly recovering from the injuries he received following the latest attempt on his life.

He is now being driven from place to place around the UK to stay with family and friends in order to throw assassins off his scent.

The head of the gang that killed journalist Veronica Guerin 1996 suffered horrific injuries in the attempted murder on March 1.

A gunman who burst through the front door at Greenfort Crescent pumped round after round into Gilligan as he tried to escape into the kitchen.

He suffered a broken hip, abdominal injuries, a shot to the leg and a graze to the head - but remarkably survived.

It was the second attempt on his life since his release from Ireland’s highest security jail in Portlaoise in October last year after serving 17 years for drug trafficking.

On December 5, Gilligan was targeted by a man who ran into the Halfway House pub in Cabra with a gun. But Gilligan was not in the pub when the would-be assassin ran in looking for him.

He was actually in the nearby Hole in the Wall pub and the gunman’s error saved his life.

After that incident the 
robber-turned-drug baron was warned by gardai that his life was in danger, but Gilligan refused to engage with detectives and claimed the incident was a late “Halloween prank”.

frightened

But while he was recovering in hospital from the second attempt on his life, an incident frightened him to the core and forced Gilligan to flee the country under cover of darkness under an assumed name.

On March 15 Stephen Dougie’ Moran, who had acted as Gilligan’s driver and bodyguard, was shot dead on the doorstep of his Lucan home.

Gilligan felt his murderers were getting closer to him again, and on St Patrick’s Day he discharged himself from Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and was driven to Dublin Port where he was wheeled onto a ferry destined for the UK.

“The latest word is he is still in his wheelchair and his injuries are taking a long time to heal,” a source told the

“While he’s off his feet he feels vulnerable and an easy target.

“To throw his killers off his scent he moves around using friends and family to put him up,” they added.

“He will never be what he was before. He is a shadow of his former self.”

cfeehan@herald.ie

Irish Independent

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