Tuesday 21 November 2017

Gilligan loses fight to regain control of homes

Edel Kennedy

CRIME boss John Gilligan was branded a loser and a liar yesterday as he lost his High Court battle to regain control of his properties.

In a lengthy judgment, Mr Justice Kevin Feeney said evidence given by the jailed drug dealer about his earnings was "implausible" and "far fetched".

He ruled that just €19,050 of the money invested in four properties in the 1980s and 1990s was earned legitimately. The rest of the money, he ruled, was the proceeds of crime.

The action was taken by Gilligan, his ex-wife Geraldine, and his children Darren and Tracey to regain control of seized properties from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). They argued the properties were bought with legitimate earnings.

However the 90-page judgment said:

  • Evidence given by Gilligan was "incredible" and the source of funds improbable.
  • Gilligan chose to ignore his involvement in illegal drugs and the resulting profits which was "indicative of his willingness to swear falsehoods".
  • Gilligan's own evidence showed he didn't generate enough money from gambling to buy all the properties.

Gilligan had claimed he bought Jessbrook, in Enfield, Co Meath, which includes an equestrian centre, after winning in the bookies and profiting from foreign exchange dealings in Amsterdam.


But Mr Justice Feeney said that the sworn affidavits and verbal evidence were "not just inconsistent, they are irreconcilable".

"The attempt to explain such inconsistency is so implausible and so transparent as to place the court in a position that it can believe neither of the accounts," Mr Justice Feeney said.

He added that Gilligan -- who received 16 criminal convictions between 1967 and 1993 -- made "substantial losses" at the bookies, despite describing himself as a professional gambler.

Stewart Kenny of Paddy Powers had told the court they were monitoring Gilligan because of the substantial amounts he was placing -- but he was allowed to continue betting because he was a loser. He lost £80,000 in one 10-month period in 1995.

Gilligan -- who is serving a 20-year jail term for drugs offences -- had also claimed that he received a Stg£4m loan from a Joseph Saouma which was used to renovate his properties.

However, Mr Saouma did not appear in court and there was no documentary evidence of this loan.

Darren Gilligan's application in relation to his property -- 6 Weston Green in Lucan -- was also dismissed after he and his father failed to prove that it was bought after a personal injury payment of £15,303 was increased to £78,000 through lucky bets.

Tracey Gilligan had claimed that her home, 1 Willsbrook View in Lucan, had been bought with the help of €12,700 (£10,000) which her now deceased partner gave to her. She also claimed an investment of up to €25,400 (£20,000) in home improvements.

Mr Justice Feeney found the €12,700 had been legitimately earned, while he ruled that around €6,350 worth of home improvements were made.

In concluding his judgment, Mr Justice Feeney said that with the exception of some money for Tracey's house, none of the family had been able to prove that the monies for the homes were "not directly or indirectly proceeds of crime".

Geraldine Gilligan declined to comment on the ruling afterwards.

Irish Independent

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