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John Gilligan dismisses attempted hit as ‘Halloween prank’

A man in motorcycle gear entered the Halfway House pub on the Navan Road brandishing a pistol and shouting “where’s Gilligan”.

Updated at 10.23pm

CONVICTED DRUG DEALER John Gilligan has dismissed an attempt on his life yesterday as a “Halloween prank” and insisted he has “no enemies”.

Gardaí in Blanchardstown are investigating the incident, which happened at the Halfway House pub on the Navan Road at around 4pm yesterday.

According to gardaí, a man in motorcycle gear entered the premises and walked around “looking for someone”.

It’s understood the man shouted “where’s Gilligan” as he rushed around the bar.

When it became clear that the criminal wan’t there, the gunman fled the scene. He was intercepted on the road by a Garda patrol car, and officers attempted to stop his motorcycle on the Ratoath Road in Finglas.

According to a garda spokesman: “The driver was seen discarding a firearm and then fleeing the scene”.

A 9mm pistol was recovered, and has been taken for forensic tests.

Questioned by RTÉ at the Four Courts in Dublin today, Gilligan played down the incident, insisting it had been a “Halloween prank too late”.

I’ve no problem with anybody and I’ve no fear of anybody. I’ve no enemies

He admitted gardaí had been in contact with him since the incident, but said he had nothing to fear. Asked again why someone might want to try and kill him he said:

I haven’t got a clue. Halloween. Kids making mistakes.

Gardaí have been interviewing witnesses and carrying out door-to-door enquiries in the area in the wake of the incident, and CCTV from the pub — a landmark on the Navan Road — is also being examined.


The Halfway House pub [Image: Google Streetview]

Gilligan was released from Portlaoise Prison on 15 October, after serving a sentence for drug trafficking offences.

The was sentenced to 28 years in prison on drug trafficking charges in 2001, but this was later reduced to 20 years on appeal. He was entitled to further time off the sentence due to remission.

The 61-year-old criminal, originally from Ballyfermot, led the gang responsible for killing journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996. He was later acquitted of the murder.

Gilligan was at the High Court today for an action challenging the sale by the Criminal Assets Bureau of his former family home and the adjacent equestrian centre in Jessbrook, Co Kildare.

Originally posted at 3.12pm.

Read: Pictures: John Gilligan walks free from Portlaoise Prison

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

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