Legal papers to be exchanged in appeal over Gilligan assets

Convicted drug dealer has appealed against seizure of two houses and equestrian centre

John Gilligan pictured this afternoon at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts

John Gilligan pictured this afternoon at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts

Thu, Nov 14, 2013, 21:36

The Supreme Court has given directions for the exchange of legal papers in an appeal over the seizure of assets of John Gilligan and his family.

Gilligan, who was in court today, was released from prison last month after serving 17 years for drug dealing.

His Supreme Court appeal, and those of his wife Geraldine and their children Darren and Tracey, will involve an analysis of forensic accountants reports relating to the acquisition of assets seized and declared the proceeds of crime by the courts, Mr Justice Frank Clarke was told today.

The assets included Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Enfield, Co Meath, and two houses in Lucan, Dublin.

The Supreme Court will first have to decide whether applications dealing with the forensic accountants reports, along with other preliminary matters, should be dealt with separately to the main challenge to the original proceeds of crime hearings in 1996/97.

Gilligan claims, because he was not even in the jurisdiction at that time, it was not possible to properly challenge forensic accounting findings. He wants this issue dealt with first.

The Criminal Assets Bureau, which got the seizure orders, contends the case has been decided by the Supreme Court already and a further hearing should involve all matters being dealt with at the same time.

The matter was in for case management yesterday before Mr Justice Clarke who directed exchange of papers between the sides over the next week.

Last June, the Supreme Court granted the four appellants legal aid to pursue their appeal.