Saturday 24 February 2018

John Gilligan’s equestrian centre put up for sale by CAB

Tom Brady, Security Editor

Jessbrook equestrian centre, which is the prize asset in crime boss John Gilligan’s property portfolio, is being sold off by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

It will be placed on the market tomorrow by the bureau, which had been given the go-ahead to dispose of it by the Supreme Court last November.

This followed a sixteen year court battle between the CAB and lawyers for Gilligan’s wife, Geraldine.

Jessbrook, which is located between Timahoe and the outskirts of Johnstownbridge, near the Kildare-Meath border, was handed over by law to Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin and passed on to the Office of Public Works to finalise the appointment of an auctioneer and a date for sale.

The development of the centre in 1995 and 1996, in an area known locally as Mucklon, cost €1.5m and it was regarded as the biggest indoor equestrian centre in the country.

But it is likely to fetch a fraction of the cost when it is sold.  CAB officers hope to dispose of it within a month.

Jessbrook Equestrian Centre
Jessbrook Equestrian Centre
The Jessbrook Equestrian Centre which was owned by the convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan and is to be sold by The Criminal Assets Bureau 16 years after it was first seized.
A general view of the Jessbrook Equestrian Centre which was owned by the convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan
An apartment at the Jessbrook Equestrian Centre which was owned by the convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan and is to be sold by The Criminal Assets Bureau 16 years after it was first seized

The centre will go for sale, along with 40 acres,  Its 3,000-seater arena has never been used and is completely enclosed with “the best of thermal roofing”.

Its estimated that the development work included €300,000 on the seating and €400,000 on steel and it includes 38 stables and an apartment.  It would cost another €300,000 to restore it to its original condition.

Gilligan is currently serving a 20-year jail sentence for drug trafficking in Portlaoise jail.  He was in charge of the crime gang responsible for the murder of Sunday Independent journalist, Veronica Guerin in 1996.

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