Sunday 18 February 2018

Drug kingpin Gilligan has tanks of cash on Continent, court told

Fergus Black

JOHN Gilligan was yesterday accused of making vast sums of money from a "violent, damaging and dirty" drugs trade and of still having "tanks" of money on the Continent.

Legal representatives for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) made the accusations as the convicted drug dealer continued to assert that any wealth he accrued came from gambling and other business activities and not from crime.

Gilligan, who is serving a 20-year jail sentence for drugs offences, is waging a legal battle to prevent the CAB from taking properties from him that were first frozen by the bureau 14 years ago.

Earlier, a bookmaker told the High Court how he had played "cat and mouse" with betting shops as he tried to place bets on behalf of Gilligan and to disguise who they were from.

Gilligan claims that his properties were funded through gambling and cannot be classed as the proceeds of crime and therefore cannot be seized.

But on the eighth day of his hearing yesterday, the 58-year-old was accused of using gambling to launder his money and of building up a reputation in the criminal underworld through intimidation -- suggestions Gilligan rejected.

He also rejected suggestions he had threatened prison officers or that he had assaulted Veronica Guerin, the investigative journalist who was shot and killed in 1996.

Senior counsel Ben O Floinn, representing the CAB, suggested his criminal activity in the 1970s and 1980s wasn't about money, but about putting together his reputation in the criminal world.

"I don't think I've a reputation in the criminal world other than what was written about me in the papers," Gilligan replied.

When Mr O Floinn suggested this reputation was "based on intimidation", Gilligan said: "I'm only five foot."


Gilligan was quizzed on evidence that there were "still tanks of money or pots of money outside the scope of this courtroom and jurisdiction with somebody on the Continent".

But Gilligan, who has concluded his testimony, retorted: "I will give you half of it if you tell me where it is."

Derek Baker, an on-course bookmaker, said he first met Gilligan in the 1990s. He said he knew him by his reputation in betting shops.

Gilligan told him he was "struggling" to put bets on and asked him to place bets on his behalf in betting shops. He placed bets for Gilligan between 1994 and 1995, but stopped when he began his on-course betting work.

In return for his work in placing bets, Gilligan was always "decent" and after getting his winnings would give him IR£500 or IR£1,000. "I showed a profit from my dealings with him," Mr Baker said.

Ladbrokes manager Bernadette Rooney said she remembered Gilligan coming into her Palmerstown betting shop in July 1995.

She described Gilligan as a "monitored customer" and because his bets were large, she would have to ring head office before accepting them.

She also remembered getting a IR£50,000 cheque organised to be paid out to Gilligan's son, Darren.

Mrs Rooney agreed with counsel that her daughter Carol had been referred to as having a relationship with Gilligan.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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