herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

Drugs lord Gilligan 'spotted in Spain' as he claims to be skint

John Gilligan (left) with his son Darren
John Gilligan (left) with his son Darren

Convicted crime lord John Gilligan has reportedly been spotted at a Spanish airport despite claiming to be broke and homeless.

Just months after he insisted he was penniless in an effort to delay the seizure by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) of his last remaining properties, he has been seen back in Spain, where his daughter Tracey once ran a pub and where Gilligan himself previously enjoyed the trappings of his drug-trafficking empire.

Welfare

The thug - whose gang killed journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996 - tried to have the seizure of his last three properties ­delayed by the Supreme Court in February, claiming that he was surviving on social welfare and trying to find a place to live.

Gilligan and his son ­Darren sought a two-year stay in ­relation to a Corduff house.

Their legal team indicated the father and son needed time to pursue social housing applications and have their names placed on the housing list.

John Gilligan also made efforts to take advantage of the housing assistance payment (HAP) scheme when the properties were seized following the 20-year battle with the CAB.

Last week, the Herald reported that the drug trafficker's former home in Corduff could yet be used for social housing in the Fingal County Council area after it was seized by the State from him in February.

Meanwhile, the spacious bungalow he lived in for nearly 30 years in Kildare is currently on the market after it was also seized.

The third property, a house in the Dublin suburb of Lucan, is being rented out under the control of the CAB.

Gilligan (65) has been living in rented accommodation in Roscommon and also spends time at a relative's house in Clondalkin.

However, there are now reports that he has been sighted in recent weeks in Murcia Airport in the south-east of Spain.

"He looked like he didn't have a care in the world. He was with two burly lads who looked like bodyguards," said a source.

"It looked like he was waiting for somebody to come in from a flight."

After two attempts on his life following his release from prison in 2013, having served 17 years for drug trafficking, Gilligan does not tend to stay too long in the one place.

However, his choices have become limited. His family is renting a property in Roscommon, but Gilligan is understood to be uncomfortable there because of smells from a local piggery.

He has also been seen at the house in Clondalkin where the most recent assassination attempt on him almost proved successful.

Gilligan suffered extensive injuries in the murder bid on March 1, 2014. A gunman burst through the front door of the house in Greenfort Crescent and shot him as he tried to escape into the kitchen.

He suffered a broken hip, abdominal injuries, a wound to the leg, and a graze to the head - but survived the hit.

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