Friday 15 December 2017

John Gilligan's claim for Jobseeker's Allowance rejected after he 'failed to disclose his means'

  • Former crime boss expected a 'whip around' after he was freed from prison
  • Gilligan met with social welfare inspector twice after making claim in February
  • Criminal moans that foreign nationals get social welfare at 'the click of a finger'
John Gilligan and inset the letters sent by CAB
John Gilligan and inset the letters sent by CAB
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan has had his dole claim rejected after he “failed to make a full and frank disclosure of his means and circumstances”.

In a letter, posted online by Gilligan, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) confirmed that he applied for jobseeker’s allowance on February 20.

However this was rejected in recent days after Gilligan refused to give details of support he had received both here and in the UK since his release from Portlaoise Prison in October 2013.

Gilligan is believed to have raked in millions during the 1990s when he was flooding the country with drugs.

John Gilligan pictured with his son Darren, outside the Four Courts.
Pic Frank Mc Grath
John Gilligan pictured with his son Darren, outside the Four Courts. Pic Frank Mc Grath

He spent 17 years in prison for trafficking and is believed to have ordered the murder of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.

In his recent interviews with CAB officers the 64-year-old said he expected a “whip around” following his release but this was not forthcoming.

Furthermore Gilligan recently lost a Supreme Court appeal to hold on to some of the assets seized by CAB following a decades-long battle.

He subsequently left his rural hideout at Jessbrook before it was seized by the state last month.

In the letter from CAB, addressed to Gilligan, it is revealed that a social welfare inspector, accompanied by a detective sergeant, interviewed him on March 22 at Blanchardstown garda station regarding his application for social welfare the previous month.

But the officers were seeking to establish why the former gang leader had not applied for the payments in the three years since his release from jail.

According to the letter Gilligan replied that he was “skint” and that was why he was now making the claim for for jobseeker's benefit of €188 per week.

Gilligan told the officers he stayed with his son Darren in Corduff, West Dublin upon his release from prison.

The letter confirmed: “He thought he’d get money from different people when he got out of prison as he was like ‘The St Vincent de Paul’ before he went in.

“He thought there would be a ‘whip around’ for him and there wasn’t.”

A still image from Paul Williams’s documentary ‘State of Fear’ shows John Gilligan as he was confronted by the journalist at Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare. Photo: TV3
A still image from Paul Williams’s documentary ‘State of Fear’ shows John Gilligan as he was confronted by the journalist at Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare. Photo: TV3

Gilligan told officers he went to England after he was shot in his brother’s home in March 2014 and he stayed in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London.

He said he was helped out by by a number of people but refused to say who they were adding that he "wasn’t a rat".

According to the letter Gilligan said he was legally separated from his wife Geraldine but they were still friends and he regularly visited her in Enfield.

A second interview was conducted with Gilligan on on May 9 after the criminal had given a number of written responses to questions.

During this second interview Gilligan moaned that he didn’t claim Jobseekers Allowance because the “media were constantly around”.

Gilligan said people were afraid to help him financially because they “would be putting themselves, their wives and children at risk”.

The Dubliner has applied for social housing from Fingal County Council as he was due to be evicted from the address in Corduff this month.

He has also applied for a medical card.

Later in May CAB wrote to Gilligan again requesting the names to the people he was expecting a “whip around” from and why he had this expectation.

The officer also wanted details of who he stayed with in the UK.

In his reply Gilligan said he had travelled to the UK to get this detail but the people would not provide this detail.

He said that prisoners sometimes get a “whip around” when they leave jail but this was not forthcoming in his case.

A final decision was reached and sent to Gilligan on June 14. In the judgement the CAB officer writes:

“In accordance with the provisions of Section 300 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, I hereby decide that Mr John Gilligan is not entitled to payment of Jobseekers Allowance from 20th February 2017 on the grounds that he has failed to make a full and frank disclosure of his means and circumstances.”

In a lengthy and bizarre rant online Gilligan moaned that foreign nationals enter “our country and get Job Seekers Allowance with the click of a finger”.

"These people are not questioned how they were helped out financially or where they were fed for the last three years,” he claimed.

A garda spokesman said they do not comment on named individuals or correspondence with third parties.

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