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Intimidation? I'm only 5ft, says Gilligan

Jailed crime boss John Gilligan has denied he built a crime empire based on violence and intimidation.

In the High Court, a lawyer for the Criminal Assets Bureau Benedict O Floinn told Gilligan his criminal activity in the 1970s and 1980s did not appear to be about money but building his reputation in the criminal world.

"I don't think I've a reputation in the criminal world other than what was written about me in the papers," Gilligan replied.


When Mr O Floinn suggested this reputation was "based on intimidation", Gilligan said: "I'm only 5ft."

Gilligan has launched a legal bid to get back a number of properties that were seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau as the proceeds of crime.

Gilligan was quizzed in court yesterday on evidence that there were "still tanks of money or pots of money outside the scope of this courtroom and jurisdiction with somebody on the Continent".

But Gilligan, who has concluded his testimony, retorted: "I will give you half of it if you tell me where it is."

The convicted drug dealer continued to assert that any wealth he accrued came from gambling and other business activities and not from crime.

Earlier, a bookmaker told the High Court how he had played "cat and mouse" with betting shops as he tried to place bets on behalf of Gilligan and to disguise who they were from.

Gilligan claims that his properties were funded through gambling and cannot be classed as the proceeds of crime and therefore cannot be seized.


But on the eighth day of his hearing yesterday, the 58-year-old was accused of using gambling to launder his money and of building up a reputation in the criminal underworld through intimidation -- suggestions Gilligan rejected.

He also rejected suggestions he had threatened prison officers or that he had assaulted Veronica Guerin, the investigative journalist who was shot and killed in 1996.

The case continues.