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"It's been hell": John Gallagher's brother speaks about 1988 double killings

Gallagher recently turned himself in after absconding from the Central Mental Hospital 12 years ago.

File photo of the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum.
File photo of the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE BROTHER OF a double killer who recently turned himself in after 12 years on the run has spoken publicly for the first time since his return to the Central Mental Hospital.

John Gallagher, now 46, was found guilty but insane of the murder of his girlfriend Anne Gillespie and her mother Annie on the grounds of Sligo Hospital in 1988.

Gallagher absconded from the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum in 2000, but recently handed himself in. His continued detention will be reviewed by the Criminal Law Mental Health Review Board.

In an interview with TV3′s Midweek, Gallagher’s brother Donal spoke about his brother’s behaviour ahead of the killings.

“John was always a wild one and got away with it,” Gallagher told presenter Colette Fitzpatrick.

Speaking of the late Anne Gillespie, Donal Gallagher described her as a “lovely girl”, adding that his wife was pregnant with their first child at the time. “They were to come up for the christening, and that was never to be.”

He said that his son was christened on the day that gardaí informed his family that the Gillespies were killed. ”It’s been hell since,” he said. “It’s just been all downhill from this.”

Asked what John may be thinking in handing himself in, Donal Gallagher says he believes he “wants to be free, he wants out”.

Midweek airs on TV3 tonight at 10pm.

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