Monday 24 July 2017

John Gilligan will learn today if CAB can seize his three properties - leaving him potentially homeless in Ireland

Criminal Assets Bureau are laying claim to Jessbrook bungalow as well as two houses in Lucan and Blanchardstown

John Gilligan arrives at court to hear if CAB can seize his three properties
John Gilligan arrives at court to hear if CAB can seize his three properties
A still image from Paul Williams’s documentary ‘State of Fear’ shows John Gilligan as he was confronted by the journalist at Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare. Photo: TV3
John Gilligan
John Gilligan pictured at Jessbrook recently
John Gilligan is photographed near Jessbrook in Co Meath
John Gilligan
John Gilligan at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear
John Gilligan parties with inmates at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear
John Daly and John Gilligan at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear
John Gilligan cutting trees at his home on the Jessbrook Complex. Photo: Sunday World
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan will learn today if the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) are to be given permission to seize three houses from him and his family.

To date the CAB have succeeded in taking the drug lord’s Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Enfield Co Kildare, as well as another property, and selling it, but the Gilligans have fought tooth and nail to hang onto the bungalow beside Jessbrook that they bought more than 20 years ago from where they started their ambitious equestrian plans.

The CAB are laying claim to the Kildare bungalow as well as two houses in Lucan and Blanchardstown, one belonging to Gilligan’s daughter Tracy and the other belonging to his son Darren.

The Bureau proved in the High Court that the properties were bought with the proceeds of crime but John Gilligan and his family challenged this ruling all the way to the Supreme Court where the case was heard last June.

John Gilligan at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear
John Gilligan at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear

John Gilligan claims he did not receive a proper trial when his assets were frozen by the State in 1996, and says subsequent court rulings based on that decision were flawed or invalid.

The Supreme Court reserved judgement on the case last summer after a two-day hearing, but it is listed for today and a final decision is expected.

John Gilligan parties with inmates at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear
John Gilligan parties with inmates at Portlaoise prison. Picture: TV3/Paul Williams: State of Fear

Gilligan was pictured this morning arriving at the court, approximately an hour before the hearing. His family are also expected to attend.

CAB officers remain confident that the court will rule in their favour.

John Gilligan
John Gilligan

If they are successful, the court will remove the final obstacle to selling the criminal's three remaining properties - the bungalow at Jessbrook, the Gilligans' former home at Corduff Avenue in Blanchardstown in Dublin, and a house at Willsbrook View in Lucan in Dublin - leaving them homeless in Ireland.

The CAB has already successfully stripped Gilligan of the Jessbrook equestrian centre and a house in Weston Green in Lucan.

John Gilligan pictured at Jessbrook recently
John Gilligan pictured at Jessbrook recently

The Gilligans have spent 20 years challenging the sale of their properties, and were granted free legal to do so.

During one High Court hearing, Gilligan said that his wealth was as a result of the luck he had as a professional gambler and doing odd jobs.

John Gilligan cutting trees at his home on the Jessbrook Complex. Photo: Sunday World
John Gilligan cutting trees at his home on the Jessbrook Complex. Photo: Sunday World

Attempts

John Gilligan has been seen at the house beside the Jessbrook centre since his return from the UK where he was in hiding after two attempts on his life following his release from prison in October 2013 after serving 17 years for drug trafficking.

On December 5 that year, Gilligan was targeted by a man who ran into the Halfway House pub in Ashtown, Dublin, with a gun, intent on killing him.

But Gilligan was not in the pub when the would-be assassin struck.

Then on March 1, 2014, a gunman who burst through the front door of Gilligan’s brother’s house at Greenfort Crescent in Clondalkin, shot him several times as he tried to escape.

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

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 previously 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.

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