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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Armed gardaí dispatched to protect Gilligan in hospital

The 61-year-old gangster is expected to recover, after being shot four times in Clondalkin on Saturday night.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

ARMED GARDAÍ HAVE been posted to Blanchardstown Hospital, where convicted criminal John Gilligan is being treated this morning following an attempt on his life on Saturday night.

Officers have been maintaining a uniformed and armed presence at the facility, amid fears that the gangster could be targeted in his hospital bed.

A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said the force couldn’t comment on operational matters, but that in such cases the protection of witnesses to violent crimes was a priority.

Investigations at the scene where the 61-year-old was shot were concluded yesterday. Garda barriers at the house in Greenfort Terrace, Clondalkin, have now been lifted.


Greenfort Terrace on Saturday night [Photocall Ireland]

Gilligan was shot four times during a christening celebration at his brother’s house on Saturday.

He attempted to flee his attacker by running to the kitchen, but was shot at close range. He received a wound to his leg which shattered his tibia, was shot in the chest and his hip, and received a bullet graze his head.

Contrary to earlier reports, security sources say he was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

Sources indicate that while Gilligan was responsive in the ambulance, he may have sustained lasting damage from the shots to his chest and leg.

The crime lord was in the house prior to heading to a nearby pub for a family christening.

Gardaí believe that he may have been followed from his Jessbrook estate.


The crime boss was the key suspect in the slaying of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin, but he was acquitted of the murder in 2002.

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In 2001 he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Gilligan was released from prison last October, with an attempt later made on his life.

A gunman entered the Halfway House pub on the Navan Road asking for Gilligan, who was at another pub in the area.

However, Gilligan claimed that was a “Halloween prank”.

Additional reporting, Paul Hosford.

Read: John Gilligan shot during christening celebrations in Clondalkin

Read: John Gilligan ‘could be permanently damaged’ after shooting

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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