John Gilligan has latest bail application refused by court

Dublin man (66) being held on remand in Magheberry prison on laundering charges

 John Gilligan: has been in custody since August. Photograph:  Collins Courts

John Gilligan: has been in custody since August. Photograph: Collins Courts


John Gilligan, who was arrested with €23,000 in a suitcase at Belfast International Airport last August, had his latest bail application refused on Monday.

A defence barrister told Coleraine Magistrates Court that Mr Gilligan (66), with an address at Greenfort Crescent in west Dublin, had been on remand in custody for 115 days on a charge of ‘attempting to remove criminal property’ from Northern Ireland.

Mr Gilligan appeared via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been in custody since being arrested while attempting to board a flighto Spain.

At the time, the National Crime Agency said officers recovered about €23,000 at the scene.

At Monday’s court, a defence lawyer said a bail application was being made on the basis of a “delay” in the case.

He said his client had told officials at the airport he had the money with him and had given an account of it. The lawyer said about €15,000 of the cash was to pay for rent in Spain.

The barrister said his client had been in custody for “115 days” and he believed the risk of absconding could be dealt with by Mr Gilligan being released on bail with an electronic tag, curfew and daily reporting to police.

District Judge Liam McNally said the defendant had a number of previous bail applications refused on the grounds of a likelihood of committing further offences and not turning up for his trial.

He noted the fresh bail application was on the grounds of a delay and said further information was being sought from the Garda­ and Criminal Assets Bureau.

The judge said it was getting close to a stage when the time it taking for the case to proceed would be an issue but he was satisfied progress was being made.

However, Judge McNally said he was giving prosecutors “a yellow card” and said if a “timetable” for the case is not forthcoming in January, he could re-visit the issue of bail.

He refused bail and remanded the defendant in continuing custody to appear back at court next month via video link.