Gilligan may seek Special Criminal Court hearing over alleged sentence error


Lawyers for convicted drug dealer John Gilligan may seek a Special Criminal Court hearing on an alleged error in the six-month sentence imposed on him for the possession of a mobile phone in court.

In February he pleaded guilty to the possession of a phone at Portlaoise District Court in 2010. He was sentenced to 28 years in 2001 after being convicted of the importation and possession of cannabis resin, but this was reduced to 20 years on appeal. In 2001 Gilligan (59) was cleared of the 1996 murder of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin.

Counsel for Gilligan, John Peart SC, said yesterday his client believed there was a discrepancy in the sentence hearing transcript which may have led to the tariff being “not as accurately stated as it should have been”. Garnet Orange, for the State, asked that any complaint be put in writing before the matter proceeded.