John Gilligan and family have 3 months to leave properties

John Gilligan leaving the Supreme Court yesterday after the case. Picture: Courtpix

Convicted drug dealer John Gilligan and members of his family have been given three months by the Supreme Court to leave their homes, one in Co Meath and one in Blanchardstown, before the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) moves to sell or lease them.

The court also granted CAB its costs against John Gilligan, his former wife, Geraldine, and son Darren in the appeals brought before the Supreme Court by them. Costs were not awarded against Tracey Gilligan, a daughter of the couple.

Because all the Gilligans were on legal aid for the appeals, the substantial costs of the appeals will be borne by the State.

The court’s final orders represent the end of the Gilligans’ 21-year legal battle in the Irish courts over the two houses and three other properties.

The orders were made yesterday after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the Gilligans’ appeals over proceeds of crime orders made in relation to some of their assets.

The Gilligans had claimed they did not receive a proper trial when assets were frozen by the State in 1996 and subsequent court rulings based on that decision were flawed or invalid.

The property included an equestrian centre at Jessbrook, Enfield, Co Meath, which John Gilligan bought and developed before he spent 17 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Other properties owned by Geraldine Gilligan and Tracey and Darren Gilligan were also found to be the proceeds of crime. 

The properties were two houses in Lucan, one belonging to Tracey Gilligan, and the house in Blanchardstown, belonging to Darren Gilligan.

Geraldine Gilligan and Tracey Gilligan, a mother of two, had sought to be allowed stay a further two years in a house described as a “cottage” at Jessbrook, Co Meath. 

John and Darren Gilligan sought a two-year stay in relation to a house at Corduff, Blanchardstown, owned by Darren Gilligan.

Their lawyers indicated their clients needed time to pursue social housing applications and have their names placed on the housing list.

Counsel for the children said Darren Gilligan, 41, is on disability benefit while Tracey Gilligan is a lone parent. 

She has an adult daughter and a young daughter at primary school, the court heard.

There was no evidence of any criminality on the part of Tracey Gilligan and the High Court had found a 20% interest of hers in a property in Lucan did not represent proceeds of crime.

Counsel for John and Geraldine Gilligan, while accepting the domestic litigation could go no further, said his clients were considering a possible appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

John Gilligan is aged 64, is not yet entitled to the State old-age pension, and “may soon have no house to live in”, counsel said.


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