You are viewing the content for Friday 16 November 2012

Detectives to sell off Gilligan’s assets

Detectives are selling off an Olympic-sized equestrian centre after an epic 16-year battle to seize the assets of convicted drug trafficker John Gilligan.

His losing fight with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) will also see one of his houses at Weston Green, Lucan, jointly owned with his son Darren, go on the open market within weeks.

However, ongoing legal challenges mean his wife Geraldine will, for now, be able to stay on at their house adjoining the infamous equestrian centre in Jessbrook, Mucklon, Co Kildare.

CAB are also pursuing properties at Corduff Avenue, in Blanchardstown, west Dublin and Willsbrook View, in Lucan.

Gilligan, 59, has claimed in court the only reason he was being pursued was because of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin. He was cleared of the killing but sentenced to 20 years in Portlaoise Prison for drug trafficking.

Gardaí have been trying to take control of his properties through proceeds of crime laws, set up in the wake of the Guerin killing, since Nov 1996.

"It is one of the longest cases in CAB at the moment before the courts," said a source. "They have appealed every facet of the Proceeds of Crime Act and CAB Act all the way up and down the system."

But the drawn-out attempts to retain the properties — once valued at over €6m — faltered last Friday when the Supreme Court threw out Gilligan’s latest appeal.

The ruling means the equestrian centre, 90 acres of land, and the house at Weston Green, Lucan, were handed over to the State.

The OPW has asked CAB to dispose of the assets. The OPW has been using the equestrian centre as a store for furniture.