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Gilligans get legal aid in assets fight

FORMER gang boss John Gilligan, his ex-wife and their two children, were yesterday granted legal aid to pursue an appeal over the seizure of properties found to have been bought with the proceeds of crime.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) had opposed the Gilligans' application saying John Gilligan had not disclosed other assets which were not the subject of the proceeds of crime orders and he could therefore afford to fund his own appeal.

The appeal arises out of a decision in January 2011 of the High Court's Mr Justice Kevin Feeney that most of the Gilligan assets were the proceeds of crime.


These included Jessbrook where Gilligan's wife Geraldine lived and two houses in Lucan, Dublin, owned by his daughter's Tracey and Darren.

The Supreme Court yesterday said that given that the Gilligans' financial circumstances had not changed since they lost their High Court case to prevent CAB taking possession of a number of properties, including Jessbrook Equestrian Centre, in Co Meath, it was satisfied to grant them legal aid certificates.

The Gilligans had previously got legal aid after arguing they could not fund lawyers because their assets were frozen.

Apart from the application for legal aid, the court was also asked by CAB to strike out the Gilligans' entire appeal over alleged failure to prosecute the matter in good time.

The Gilligans claimed the properties were bought from legitimate earnings including from a £4m loan to John – currently coming towards the end of a 20-year sentence for drug dealing – to renovate his properties and from his gambling activities.

Mr Justice Feeney said he found these explanations incredible and improbable