herald

Monday 22 October 2018

'He's a nobody now, he's pathetic' - Gilligan is shunned by criminals

John Gilligan
John Gilligan

Convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan is "making a fool of himself" trying to become a relevant force again as he gets knocked back at every turn, sources have told the Herald.

The pint-sized gangster has been seen socialising and hanging out with younger members of the criminal world in the wider Clondalkin area, where he is "trying to get back to making a few quid", but is being stonewalled at every turn.

Gilligan (65) served 17 years in jail for drug trafficking and got a name for trying to tap his former crime associates for cash when he was released in 2013.

"He thought there would be honour among thieves and that people owed him," said a source.

"But all he got was doors being closed in his face."

Fighting

Gilligan quickly found out that the crime game had changed during his incarceration. He was considered a spent force and discovered his company was not wanted or welcome.

He crossed so many of his former cronies that there were two attempts made on his life, one of which very nearly succeeded in killing him, leaving him fighting for his life in hospital.

Gilligan, who was the head of the gang that killed journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996, suffered horrific injuries in the murder bid on March 1, 2014, when a gunman burst through the front door of a house he was staying in at Greenfort Crescent in Clondalkin and shot him as he tried to escape into the kitchen.

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

"The criminal fraternity looked upon Gilligan as the reason why the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was set up after his gang killed Veronica Guerin," said another source.

"Loads of them had cash and property seized from them as a result.

"So nobody was happy to see him. It's no real surprise that he ended up being targeted."

After discharging himself from Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Gilligan went into hiding in the UK but ultimately had to return to try to prevent the CAB seizing his last three properties.

He lost that case in the Supreme Court in February and was left homeless.

The Ballyfermot man tried to delay the seizure of the three properties by claiming his only income was social welfare and that he had to put himself on the housing list.

Fool

"He's broke, he's irrelevant and he's a nobody in the crime game now," said a source.

"But he's going around trying to drum up contacts and looking for an 'in' through locals in the Clondalkin area in the hope he can find his way back to earning cash.

"But nobody wants to know and he's just making a fool of himself.

"He is getting desperate, he's a pathetic figure."

Gilligan's family is currently renting a property in Roscommon and the Herald recently reported how he had also been spotted in Spain.

The newspaper also reported that the drug trafficker's former home in Corduff could be used for social housing in the Fingal County Council area in the future following its seizure by the CAB.

Talks have taken place between the CAB and the council to see whether the local authority would buy it and use it to help ease the housing crisis in the region.

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

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

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