herald

Wednesday 29 March 2017

'Gilligan should be removed from house and left on the streets' - Veronica brother

John Gilligan outside the Supreme Court
John Gilligan outside the Supreme Court

The brother of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin has said fallen gangster John Gilligan should be put out on the streets instead of being allowed to stay in his home for three more months.

Independent councillor Jimmy Guerin was speaking after convicted drug trafficker Gilligan and his family were granted a three-month stay by the Supreme Court.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) had previously been given permission to seize the family's three homes on the grounds that they were bought with the proceeds of crime.

Homeless

The Gilligans yesterday sought a two-year stay, arguing that they would be made homeless if the CAB took the properties.

Gilligan (64) and his son Darren (41) had made applications for themselves, Gilligan's wife Geraldine and daughter Tracy for a stay on the seizure of two of the houses.

One of the properties is next to the previously seized and sold Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Kildare. The other is a house in Corduff Avenue, Dublin.

No applications were made in relation to the third house, in Lucan.

Counsel for Gilligan said his client was not yet eligible for a state pension and that he had made enquiries of the housing authorities for accommodation.

The lawyer asked for the two-year halt on the seizure of the house in Corduff Avenue because Gilligan "soon may have no house to live in" and wants to "regularise his position".

Geraldine and Tracy Gilligan live in the Kildare property. Tracy is a single mother-of-two, whose younger child is in primary school.

The court was asked to put a stay on the seizure of the house until Tracy could find council accommodation or her daughter finished primary school.

The granting by the Supreme Court of a three-month stay was blasted by Mr Guerin, who was also critical of the CAB for "not being pro-active".

"The court process has so far taken more than 21 years. Now it has added another three months," he said. "Gilligan should be put out on the side of the road."

Bottle

He also said the CAB "didn't have the bottle" to take on Gilligan.

This is denied by the CAB, which said it had already notified Gilligan it is seeking vacant possession of the properties and will move as soon as it is allowed to.

At yesterday's hearing, Gilligan was ordered to pay the CAB's costs in the matter, estimated to be well over €1m.

However, with Gilligan claiming he is jobless and about to become homeless with no assets, the chances of him paying the massive bill are small.

If he ever earns or displays any wealth in the future, the CAB could take it from him.

"He has an IOU hanging over his head now," said a CAB source.

"This case has come full circle now for the man who was once earning vast sums of cash importing drugs."

After yesterday's brief hearing, a CAB spokesman said the bureau was satisfied with the decision of the court.

John and Darren Gilligan declined to comment as they left court.

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