Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Gilligan

Pictures: John Gilligan walks free from Portlaoise Prison

The veteran criminal, who led the gang that murdered Veronica Guerin, made a phone call as he was driven from the facility in a waiting car.

Updated: 10.50am

CRIME BOSS JOHN Gilligan has been freed from prison in Portlaoise.

The gangland criminal was released at around 9.30am this morning, as he concluded his sentence for drug trafficking offences.

Gilligan was originally given a 28 year sentence in 2001. This was reduced to 20 years on appeal, and he is allowed further time off as a result of remission.

While behind bars, he was also found on two separate occasions to be in possession of a mobile phone, and received extra six- and eight- month sentences for those offences. He has also served extra time in prison for assaulting a prison officer.

The criminal, originally from Ballyfermot, led the gang responsible for killing journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996. He was later acquitted of the murder.

The reporter’s brother Jimmy Guerin has said he’s “saddened” at the release, and that he’s worried Gilligan will try to re-involve himself with criminal activity.

“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.

A large crowd of journalists and photographers gathered this morning ahead of the planned release. Gilligan was driven from the high security facility by a waiting car, and made a phone call as the vehicle sped away.

Pictures: John Gilligan walks free from Portlaoise Prison
1 / 5
  • John Gilligan freed

    Source: Niall Carson
  • John Gilligan freed

    Source: Niall Carson
  • John Gilligan freed

    Source: Niall Carson
  • John Gilligan freed

    Source: Niall Carson
  • John Gilligan freed

    Source: Niall Carson

(All pictures: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

This article was originally posted at 10.10am

Read: Gilligan loses appeal against constitutionality of sentences >

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

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
165
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.