THE criminal behind the botched hit on John Gilligan has been warned his life is in danger.
The "credible threat" against the psychopathic Finglas hood has come from Gilligan and his cronies, gardai believe.
A would-be assassin entered the Halfway House on the Navan Road on December 4 last year looking for Gilligan, who was in a different pub nearby.
Gardai recently received intelligence that a convicted armed robber in his 30s – who gave Gilligan a savage beating in prison in 2008 – was behind the botched murder bid.
He is said to have a "pathological hatred" for the convicted drugs lord.
But Gilligan and his cronies are now gunning for the reckless criminal who is also suspected of being involved in a vicious stabbing outside a pub in Finglas last November.
A senior source said: "Detectives from Ballymun Garda Station have given him an official warning about an active threat against his life.
"It is believed this threat is coming from the Gilligan side – he has had previous death threats as well from other criminal elements because of his continued involvement in serious criminality and feuding."
The hood was previously handed a jail sentence for an armed robbery in which he pointed a loaded gun at gardai.
It was while serving this sentence that he first met with and clashed with Gilligan.
Sources believe he agreed to the hit after being offered "a huge whack of cash" but has not been paid.
He was closely associated with Kevin Ledwidge, a 27-year-old Finglas criminal who was shot dead in July, 2007.
It is believed the failed Gilligan hit was supported by north-inner city gangsters who had intelligence that Gilligan met his son, Darren, in the Hole in the Wall pub beside the Phoenix Park several times a week.
They observed Gilligan going into the pub about 12.30pm on December 5 while another spotter was sent to Jessbrook, where posing as a reporter, he asked Geraldine Gilligan about her husband's whereabouts.
Detectives believe the man was making sure Gilligan was not at home so the murder attempt could go ahead.
Shortly before 4pm on the day, the armed robber, wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a Luger, burst into the Halfway House – which is only minutes away from the Hole in the Wall – and started shouting "where's Gilligan?"
He ran through three bars looking for his target before fleeing when he realised the notorious criminal wasn't there.
Gardai spotted the man trying to make his getaway on a motorbike driven by an accomplice and gave chase.
The assassin threw the Luger away on the Ratoath Road, but the bike was too powerful for the squad car and escaped.
Gilligan was warned his life was in danger, but refused to engage with detectives, claiming the incident was a "Halloween prank come too late".