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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

Double killer hands himself in after 12 years on the run

John Gallagher had been found guilty of the murder of a mother and daughter on the grounds of Sligo General Hospital. He had been living in Strabane in Tyrone.

The Central Mental hospital in Dundrum
The Central Mental hospital in Dundrum
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A MAN WHO killed two people on the grounds of Sligo General Hospital and had been on the run for 12 years has handed himself in to the Central Mental Hospital.

John Gallagher had been found guilty but insane of the murder of his girlfriend Anne Gillespie and her mother Annie in 1988. Gallagher, who was 22 at the time, had learned that Anne had planned to end her relationship with him.

He escaped from the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum in 2000 and had been on the run ever since.

Gallagher had initially fled to England but is believed to have been living across the border in Strabane in Co Tyrone. Due to a legal loophole, he was unable to be arrested by gardaĆ­.

The Department of Justice has confirmed that he is now being detained at the hospital in Dundrum and his continued detention will be looked at by the Criminal Law Mental Health Review Board.

The Board was set up to review the detention of patients at the Central Mental Hospital who have been found to be unfit to stand trial or not guilty of an offence by reason of insanity.

Central Mental Hospital to be moved to north Dublin >

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