John Gilligan expected to make new application for bail

Dublin man was arrested at Belfast airport on suspicion of money laundering

John Gilligan. File Photograph: Collins Courts

John Gilligan. File Photograph: Collins Courts


A man accused of money laundering offences after he was arrested while attempting to board a flight from Belfast to Spain is expected to make a fresh bid for bail next week by citing “a change of circumstances”.

John Gilligan (66), of Greenfort Crescent, west Dublin, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Maghaberry Prison where he has been on remand in connection with one charge of attempting ‘to remove criminal property from Northern Ireland’.

The accused was arrested at Belfast International Airport on August 23rd as he was about to board a flight to Alicante.

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

At Coleraine Court on Monday, a prosecution lawyer said a full file in the case was still “outstanding” and “international investigations” are ongoing.

She said a “phone triage” is also being carried out.

Defence solicitor Aiden Carlin asked District Judge Peter King to adjourn the case for two weeks for a renewed bail application.

The accused had been refused bail at the High Court in Belfast on Friday.

At the High Court on September 7th, Mr Gilligan had a bail application turned down amid prosecution claims he had “sold up” and was leaving Ireland for a new life in Spain. A judge also heard the cash in his suitcase came from family, friends and the sale of belongings such as a Rolex watch.

At Monday’s court, defence lawyer Aiden Carlin said there had been “a change of circumstances” regarding his client but said he did not want to give the details in open court.

Judge King said there would have to be a “tectonic change” in circumstances and adjourned the case for a week.

The defendant was remanded in continuing custody.