| 1.3°C Dublin

Gilligan pays €12,000 for festive break from prison


Dublin gangster John Gilligan was granted bail in Spain

Dublin gangster John Gilligan was granted bail in Spain

Dublin gangster John Gilligan was granted bail in Spain

Dublin criminal John Gilligan paid €12,000 to get out of a Spanish jail so he could spend Christmas with his girlfriend.

The convicted drug smuggler secured his freedom less than two months after being caged following his arrest for suspected drugs and weapons offences.

The size of the payment the 68-year-old had to make was revealed as he began his second week of conditional bail following a successful attempt by his lawyers to rescue him from his cell while the investigation against him continues.

Gilligan, who was arrested on October 20 after a gun was found buried in the garden of his Costa Blanca home, has been banned from leaving Spain and ordered to sign on every fortnight at court as part of his release conditions.

He is thought to have returned to the villa near the town of Torrevieja where he was arrested so he can celebrate Christmas.

Gilligan and his girlfriend, a British woman known only as Sharon, were among six people held by police.

His son Darren was also detained.

The arrests took place following a lengthy police investigation into a drug smuggling gang allegedly led by Gilligan.

Detectives said at the time that they had seized 4kg of marijuana and 15,000 powerful sleeping pills called zimmos that heroin addicts use to help them sleep and numb pain.

Gilligan had been expected to remain behind bars for at least six months and could have been kept in prison without charge for at least two years.

"The individual's defence lawyer requested his conditional release on bail and the state prosecution service did not oppose the request," a judicial source said of Gilligan's unexpected release, which was approved by a judge at Torrevieja's Court of Instruction.


"The court agreed to release this person on bail because it considers the investigation is nearly completed.

"As conditions of his release, as well as the payment of bail, he has been banned from leaving Spain, his passport has been removed and he has to sign on every fortnight at court."

Gilligan and the five other suspects have not yet been charged, as formal charges are only laid in Spain shortly before trial.

All six are currently classified as "investigados", meaning they are under formal investigation.

State prosecutors have not yet been invited to submit a formal accusation.