CRIME figure John Gilligan has contacted gardai claiming that he had to be hospitalised after his heart stopped three times in a brazen bid not to be evicted from his home, the Herald has learned.
Gilligan went to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown on Sunday complaining of chest pains and remained in the facility until Tuesday, when he was discharged.
Sources have revealed that Gilligan has since contacted gardai to say that his "heart stopped three times".
Gardai were forced to increase armed patrols around the hospital in case there was another attempt to murder the pint-sized thug, who has survived two previous attempts on his life.
"It is understood that Gilligan is attempting to use his so-called health problems as a ruse to stay in his property," a source said last night.
"It is just more whingeing out of him."
Earlier this week, the Herald revealed that the twisted 65-year-old wants the country's taxpayers to fund a new home for him after he lost three properties to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
The convicted drug trafficker presented himself at council offices in Blanchardstown, claiming that he is facing homelessness.
It has also emerged that he is to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to hang on to the three seized properties.
Last month, the crime lord lost a Supreme Court appeal, in which he challenged proceeds of crime orders in relation to some of his assets.
The five-judge court ruled that the CAB is entitled to seize the three properties linked to Gilligan, including the Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Enfield, Co Meath.
The criminal has been living in the grounds but CAB is preparing to seize it.
Other property owned by his former wife Geraldine, daughter Tracy and son Darren were also found to be the proceeds of crime.
Gilligan is believed to have raked in millions during the 1990s, when he was flooding the country with drugs.
He spent 17 years in prison for drug trafficking and is widely believed to have ordered the murder of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.
Last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Brian Meehan over the rejection of his claim that his conviction for the murder of the journalist was a miscarriage of justice.
In a published determination, a three-judge Supreme Court ruled that Meehan (48), from Crumlin, Dublin, had not met the criteria for an appeal to the court.
Meehan sought an appeal against the Court of Appeal's April 2016 judgment rejecting his claim that his conviction for the murder of Ms Guerin was a miscarriage of justice.
He was convicted in 1999 of the murder of the journalist after the Special Criminal Court found that Meehan was the driver of a motorcycle that pulled up alongside Ms Guerin's car on June 26, 1996.
She died after the pillion passenger shot her.