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Drink-driving charge for Gilligan gang thug Ward

A MAN accused of killing Veronica Guerin has been charged with drink driving near his Kildare home.

Paul 'Hippo' Ward was handed a life sentence in 1998 after being found guilty of planning the murder of Veronica, but his conviction was later quashed when the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that too much weight had been given to the evidence of supergrass Charles Bowden.

Journalist Guerin was gunned down in 1996 by two men on a motorbike as she sat in traffic on the Naas Road.

Ward (46) was stopped on the N4 in Leixlip, Co Kildare, early on Saturday morning, and later failed a breath test.

He was charged and bailed, and is due to appear in court next month.

"He seemed to understand the protocol and it obviously wasn't too overwhelming for him considering his experience," said one source.

"He co-operated and didn't cause any trouble."

Ex-drug addict Ward was a former member of jailed drug baron John Gilligan's gang, along with Bowden, Russell Warren, Brian Meehan, John Traynor and Peter Mitchell.

He was also a ringleader in the Mountjoy Prison riots of 1997, and had to serve 12 years for his part in the violent stand-off with prison guards while he was on remand.

Ward and a gang of inmates held four warders in the segregation unit for three days, armed with blood-filled syringes and steel table legs.

The guards were also threatened with hanging and had nooses tied around their necks.