John Gilligan stable in hospital after Dublin shooting

Convicted drug dealer shot six times during family gathering at house in Clondalkin


Convicted drug dealer John Gilligan remains in hospital today after being shot and injured in a gun attack in west Dublin yesterday evening.

The 62-year-old, who was released from prison last October, was in his brother Thomas Gilligan’s house in Clondalkin when he was targeted shortly after 7pm.

Gilligan was at a family celebration in the house when two masked gunmen forced their way in to the house in the Greenfort local authority estate.

He was shot six times in a hallway before the gunman and an accomplice fled in a silver SUV.

Seven shots were fired in the attempted murder, gardaí said today.

Gilligan suffered bullet wounds to his upper chest area, stomach and hip and also another bullet wound in one of his legs. A bullet also grazed his forehead.

Gardaí said both men were masked.

An ambulance was called and Gilligan was treated at the scene before being taken by ambulance to Blanchardstown Hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition today. His injuries are described as not life-threatening.

Investigating gardaí have issued an appeal for witnesses to the incident or anyone with information to contact them . They denied media reports Gilligan had been wearing a bullet-proof vest.

The house remains sealed off today.

While the investigation into the shooting is only beginning, a botched attempt was made on Gilligan’s life in early December and gardaí are working on the theory that yesterday’s murder attempt is linked to that incident.

On that occasion, on December 5th, Gilligan was drinking in the Hole in the Wall pub on Blackhorse Avenue beside Dublin’s Phoenix Park when two armed men arrived at the Halfway House in Ashtown less than 1km away.

After they were unable to find him they left on a motorbike. They were chased by passing gardaí and threw their gun away.

Gardaí believed the gunman and his accomplice intended to kill Gilligan but had gone to the wrong pub.

A criminal from Ballymun has emerged as the chief suspect for that botched murder bid and he has since been warned by gardaí that his life was in danger.

Gardaí issued the official warning to him, as they are obliged to, on coming into intelligence about a plan to shoot him.

The identity of criminals planning a shooting are not revealed when the warnings are issued to be people under threat, though sources said the threat to the man’s life was identified as coming from Gilligan’s associates.

It is believed that man and those around him have tried this evening to murder Gilligan in a bid to neutralise the threat he poses to the Ballymun criminal’s life.

Released last October after almost 17 years in prison, most of it serving a 20-year term for drugs, Gilligan has remained in the public eye.

Gilligan originally received a 28-year sentence on being convicted in 2001 of trafficking cannabis . That was later reduced to 20 years on appeal.

Gilligan was accused and acquitted of ordering the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996. He denied any involvement with her death and was cleared after a lengthy trial in the Special Criminal Court.