WOUNDED on-the-run gangster John Gilligan used a false name when he fled the country.
The convicted drug trafficker used Dublin Port to make his escape because, unlike an airport, he could leave without having his movements recorded.
Using a fake name made him less traceable to authorities, as well as the would-be assassins who have stalked him and have twice tried to kill him since December.
Sources say that because passengers do not have to give a real name when passing through a port, it is a deciding factor in the travel plans of many criminals.
"The man who drove Gilligan on to the ferry used his real name on the booking reference, and everyone's name is recorded, but if you're travelling as a car passenger or a foot passenger you can call yourself whatever you like," a source said.
"There is no John Gilligan on the list for that sailing.
"And they don't have to come back using the same name they went out with either, so they can become virtually anonymous."
The Herald has also learned that Gilligan has a current passport – which he applied for and received while in prison – meaning he is free to travel on from the UK if he wants to.
The black Mercedes with 132 plates that Gilligan used to board the 2.15am ferry has so far not returned to Ireland, and may be hidden away so as not to expose Gilligan's location.
The gangster has checked himself into a private hospital in the UK as he is in need of medical attention for the wounds he received when he was shot at his brother's house in Clondalkin on March 1.
It is understood that he requires physiotherapy and further treatment for a shattered bone in his leg after he was hit four times.
Gilligan is so frail he had to be wheeled from Connolly Hospital in Dublin as revealed by photos in The Herald earlier this week. He is thought to be hiding out somewhere until he recovers from his injuries.
He received garda advice on personal protection measures before leaving the country, though gardai believe he will remain a target of assassins hell-bent on killing him.