THE botched assassination attempt on John Gilligan may have been ordered by the man who gardai believe has become the main representative here for the Irish drugs kingpin Christy Kinahan.
Gilligan has been under surveillance by the organisation which has taken over the drugs distribution network formerly led by the city’s major crime leader, Eamon Dunne, who was shot dead in April 20 10.
Dunne’s former right-hand man has assumed control of this network and has become the dominant figure in organised crime in Dublin.
The man, in his early 40s, is little known publicly and has survived at least two murder attempts.
He had been a target of the ‘Real’IRA group led by Alan Ryan, who was assassinated in September2012.
However, the criminal figure has associations with other dissident republican rivals of Ryan’s group.
And one of the theories being examined by gardai is that the criminal figure may have contracted the assassinations out to his “republican” gang based in the Ballymun area.
However, a source admitted that Gilligan has a long list of potential enemies and has made the mistake of “trying to get back into the game”.
The 61-year-old has visited the homes of a number of former associates who he believes owe him allegiance and money.
One source pointed out yesterday that Gilligan, who is living in a apartment close to his former Jessbrook home in Co Kildare, has yet to realise that assassination in Dublin can be commissioned for relatively small sums of money.
Gardai believe that one murder in Dublin earlier this year was carried out to pay off a debt of only a few thousand euro.
Garda sources yesterday admitted they were uncertain who was behind the attempted assassination last Thursday afternoon.
Gilligan attended the High Court on Friday where the Criminal Assets Bureau wants the court to strike out a potential legal impediment to the sale of property seized from Gilligan and his family.
Speaking outside the court, Gilligan said: "I'm doing grand. I just think it was a Halloween prank, too late. I've no problem with anybody and I've no fear of anybody. No problem whatsoever and I've no enemies."
And the Herald has learnt that in a bizarre move, the deluded criminal started mouthing outside court that the Criminal Assets Bureau were responsible for the failed murder attempt.
"It looks like he has gone mad -- can he not keep his trap shut? What a stupid thing to say," a source pointed out.
Shortly after the court hearing, Gilligan was officially warned by gardai of the threat against his life and given advice on his personal security, a senior source has revealed.
This followed the incident in the Castleknock pub in which a raider armed with a 9mm handgun entered the Halfway House looking for the gangster who was drinking with his son, Darren, in a nearby Hole in the Wall pub.
The gunman entered the Halfway House pub reportedly saying "where's Gilligan, where's Gilligan?"
After failing to find his target, the bungling hitman left and was pursued by armed gardai, dropping his loaded handgun on the River Road in Finglas, before fleeing on foot after he discarded his bike.