Sunday 15 September 2019

'I'm an old man now' - Gilligan in plea over bail

John Gilligan: He said he ‘can’t be looking over my shoulder’
John Gilligan: He said he ‘can’t be looking over my shoulder’

Nevin Farrell

Criminal John Gilligan has told a Northern Ireland court he would honour the terms of bail if it was granted, saying he is old now and "can't be looking over my shoulder".

Gilligan (66), with an address in west Dublin, appeared before Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

He appeared via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been in custody since being arrested at Belfast International Airport on August 23 last with €23,000 in a suitcase.

He is accused of "attempting to remove criminal property" from Northern Ireland.

He was arrested while attempting to board a flight to Spain. Officers from the National Crime Agency recovered the cash at the scene.

After being told yesterday he was being remanded in continuing custody until a week before Christmas, Gilligan told the court: "I declared the money to the customs, I committed no crime whatsoever."

Regarding bail, he said: "I never failed to turn up for bail in my life."

He said he had always honoured bail conditions as a young man, adding: "I'm an old man now, I can't be looking over my shoulder."

District Judge Liam McNally said he had been told at the last hearing in the case in October that the full file was to be submitted on November 1.

A prosecutor said the full file had been received but one of their officials wants to meet with investigating officers on November 30 and asked for a further adjournment.

Judge McNally said that was "progress" but defence barrister Plunkett Nugent said it was "very limited progress".

Mr Nugent said there had been "one reason upon another" for continued delays.

Judge McNally remanded Gilligan in custody until December 17.

Irish Independent

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