How John Gilligan’s sneer was wiped from his face

The one-time crime kingpin now potters around Jessbrook, both broke and broken

John Gilligan: After 17 years behind bars, the former crime boss was released from Portlaoise Prison on October 15th, 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

John Gilligan: After 17 years behind bars, the former crime boss was released from Portlaoise Prison on October 15th, 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

Three years on from his release from prison, it can be said with certainty that John Gilligan’s efforts to retake his place in the underworld have ended in abject failure. He is reduced to living on the charity of family members and is shunned or hated by the new, younger kings of the crime scene he used to rule.

Once the godfather of the Irish drugs scene, Gilligan is now its grandfather. Worse still, he is a nuisance that nobody wants.

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