Court dismisses Gilligan application

Court dismisses Gilligan application

The High Court has dismissed an application by convicted drug dealer John Gilligan directing the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge him with the importation of 104 shipments of illegal drugs.

Gilligan also applied to the High Court for permission to bring constitutional challenges against the Misuse of Drugs and the Offences Against the State Acts and sought orders including that he be released from prison.

The application brought by Gilligan, who is serving a lengthy prison sentence at Portlaoise Prison, was rejected by Mr Justice McGovern on grounds including the proceedings amounted to a "collateral attack" on a conviction received "over 11 years ago."

Gilligan was convicted by the Special Criminal Court in March 2001 of 11 offences of unlawfully importing cannabis resin into the State on various dates between 1 July, 1994 and 6 October, 1996, and unlawful possession of cannabis resin for sale or supply on the same dates. He was cleared of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996.

Lawyers acting for Gilligan, who was not present in court for the hearing, sought to bring High Court Proceedings against Ireland, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Minister for Justice, the Garda Commissioner, the Special Criminal Court the Governor of Portlaoise Prison and the Criminal Assets Bureau.

His application was made on an ex-parte (one side only represented) basis.


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