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File photo of Jimmy Guerin. Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland
John Gilligan

Jimmy Guerin: I think there are a number of new John Gilligans

The drug boss is due to be released from Portlaoise Prison later this morning, after serving 12 years for drug trafficking offences.

THE BROTHER OF murdered journalist Veronica Guerin has said drug crime has increased in the country since his sister’s death and that he believes crime lord John Gilligan will re-enter the criminal underworld following his release later this morning.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan yesterday, Jimmy Guerin said he was “saddened that somebody who was responsible for murder – guilty of murder – is walking free from jail so early”.

Gilligan, who was leader of the gang responsible for killing the journalist in 1996, has served 12 years for drug trafficking offences, though he was originally sentenced to 28 years and this was reduced to 20 on appeal.

‘Money will be power’

“This is probably Ireland’s most notorious criminal and we are opening the gates of our prison today and letting him back into society and I think that’s wrong,” Guerin said.

He said be now believes  Gilligan will “try and re-emerge in the activities he carried on in the past where he’s terrorise people – terrorise women”.

I don’t believe he can pick up where he left off but I believe in the underworld and, in the criminal fraternity, money will be power and I am of the view as are a number of senior gardaí who were involved in the investigation that Gilligan has millions stashed away and I think when he has access to that kind of money he will be able to buy the power and the respect that he will be seeking again in the underworld.

‘Worse than it ever was’

Though he acknowledged that a large amount of resources had been made available after his sister’s death, Guerin commented that they were not left available and that “the drug scene is even worse than it ever was”.

“I think there are a number of new John Gilligans, I think Dublin is a much worse place now from a drugs perspective,” he said.

He also said he thinks the gang leader enjoys his “celebrity status” and described a statement from his solicitor last week telling media outlets he would not do an interview for €1 million euro as “just another display of his arrogance”.

Gilligan is expected to be released from Portlaoise high security prison later this morning.

Related: Gilligan: I won’t do interviews, not even for €1 million>

Read: Gilligan’s Kildare estate up for sale – and could fetch €500k >

Also: John Gilligan sentenced over contraband mobile phone >

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