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Double-killer's cosy life

DOUBLE-killer John Gallagher is expected to return to the house he lived in at Strabane after he launches a legal battle for freedom.

Gallagher -- who handed himself in at the Central Mental Hospital on Tuesday -- almost 12 years after he absconded -- had built a new life for himself with his family in Strabane, Co Tyrone. His home is just a mile from where his victims lived.

Our photos show him cleaning his car outside his home four years ago -- living a free life because he could not be extradited to Ireland.

He settled in Strabane after three years in England -- safe in the knowledge that authorities on this side of the border could do nothing to get him back to the hospital which he had fled from.

Before settling in Northern Ireland, he married Caroline Southern, originally from Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, and he has twin daughters with her.

Gallagher lived openly in Strabane with his family and his existence was no secret to locals in the border town -- many of whom were outraged about his crime.

His 'happy family' existence there seemed light years away from the shocking events of the night of September 18, 1988 when he killed Anne Gillespie (22) and her mother Annie (51) after learning how Anne planned to break off their relationship.

kfoy@herald.ie


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