A VERY close associate of exiled crimelord John Gilligan was busted in a raid by gardai in which officers seized two handguns, ammunition and €6,500 worth of cocaine last night.
The Clondalkin, Dublin man, who is aged in his 20s, was arrested when gardai raided a house at 8.30pm and discovered two men bagging the cocaine haul in a downstairs room.
Gilligan’s close associate is understood to have spent a lot of time with the veteran crimelord in the months after he was released from Portlaoise Prison in October 2013 and even lived in the same house as the gangster for a period before Gilligan fled the country in March of last year.
Apart from Gilligan’s close associate, the other man, who is his 30s, was also arrested and the duo are being questioned today at Ronanstown and Lucan Garda Stations.
When officers searched the attic of the raided house they discovered two 9mm pistols, two silencers and ammunition.
Sources say that the arrested young man has been a big target for detectives in west Dublin for years and he is closely associated with a double killer from Neilstown who is currently on remand in prison.
“This is a very good capture. Gilligan’s young associate has been under surveillance for some time and last night’s operation had been planned,” a source said.
“This young man is one of the main players in the locality and it is no surprise that he has access to firearms when you consider some of the people he is associated with.”
The arrested man also has close links to John Gilligan’s brother Thomas and it was at Thomas’s house in Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin, on March 1, last year, that Gilligan was shot at numerous times.
It is understood that Gilligan is still living between his extended family based between Birmingham and London and occasionally staying in Traveller halting sites with criminals linked to Limerick’s McCarthy/Dundon gang.
After being released from high security Portlaoise Prison over two years ago, Gilligan survived two attempts on his life before fleeing the country.