herald

Friday 18 August 2017

Seized John Gilligan house in Lucan is sold by CAB

John Gilligan pictured in 2013
John Gilligan pictured in 2013

Another property owned by crime boss John Gilligan has been sold by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

A four-bedroom semi-detached house in Lucan, Co Dublin, was sold for €310,000.

The house, in Weston Green, had been the subject of marathon legal wrangles as Gilligan continued to appeal the decision of the authorities to seize it.

Ownership of the house had been registered in the names of Gilligan himself and his son, Darren.

The property was originally advertised by auctioneers as “an attractive family home situated in a tranquil cul de sac facing a green”.

Gilligan (62), who now lives in England after being shot in an assassination attempt by

rival criminals, has fought a lengthy legal battle in the courts to resist efforts by the State to confiscate his properties, which the authorities maintained were bought with the proceeds of crime.

The jewel in Gilligan’s property portfolio, the Jessbrook equestrian centre on 90 acres in north Co Kildare, was seized by CAB and eventually sold after years of legal challenges by the former drug baron.

Gilligan was reckoned to have spent £1.5m (€1.8m) on building the centre and a £300,000 (€360,000) on seating.

He also invested £400,000 (€480,000) on steel structures at the venue built as a showjumping arena. It was sold for €500,000.

Gilligan claimed the house in Lucan was bought for £78,000 (€93,600) in 1995 as a result of winning large sums of money from bookmakers.

In November 2012 the Supreme Court heard the Weston Green property was jointly owned by Gilligan and his son Darren, a former drug addict.

Darren Gilligan gave evidence that he received €15,200 when he reached the age of 18 as a result of an injuries claim.

He said he gave the entire sum to his father, asking him to “invest it”.

Some time later his father said he had a good racing tip and asked if he wanted him to put €3,000 of the compensation money on the horse.

“I told him to keep gambling. At the end of the week he had built up €56,000,” he said.

Darren Gilligan told the Supreme Court that he decided to buy a house in Lucan which was put in his and his father’s names.

He confirmed he had never heard of his father’s associate, John Traynor, despite his personal injuries payout being initially lodged in a bank account belonging to Traynor’s daughter.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court also gave permission to CAB to sell Jessbrook.

It was the activities of Gilligan’s crime gang that led to the setting up of CAB after they were involved in the murder of Sunday Independent crime reporter Veronica Guerin in June 1996.

In response to her murder and the fatal shooting of Det Gda Jerry McCabe earlier that month, the Government set up the bureau to track down the assets of gangsters and terrorists and seize them.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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