Gilligan must wait for judgment over assets appeal

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in a case brought by convicted drug dealer John Gilligan and his family challenging proceeds of crime orders in relation to some of their assets.

Following a one-and-a-half day hearing, Chief Justice Susan Denham said the five-judge court was reserving its decision.

The Gilligans claim they did not receive a proper trial when his assets were frozen by the State in 1996.

Subsequent court rulings based on that decision were flawed or invalid, they argued.

The property included an equestrian centre in Enfield, Co Meath, which Gilligan had bought and developed before he spent 17 years in prison for drug trafficking. Other property owned by his former wife Geraldine, daughter Tracy and son Darren, was also found to be the proceeds of crime.

The Gilligans claimed the properties were bought from legitimate earnings.

They also included two houses in Lucan, Dublin, one belonging to Tracy, and another house in Blanchardstown, Dublin, belonging to Darren.

In continuing arguments on the second day of the case, Ben Ó Floinn, counsel for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), rejected claims they did not get a proper hearing.

The 1996 freezing orders, confirmed in a High Court decision in July 1997, were obtained in accordance with legal requirements, he said.

The Gilligans resiled from the opportunity to challenge those orders because they took the view that they would await the next stage provided for under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 which was an application by CAB to forfeit the property to the State, Mr Ó’Floinn said.


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