Motley’s Luke Luby takes a look at the recent attempt on the life of notorious criminal John Gilligan.
Former drug kingpin John Gilligan is currently recovering in a public hospital ward surrounded by armed Gardaí after an attempted assassination on Saturday March 1st 2014, the hospital chaplain, Father Dan Joe O’Mahony, has said.
It is understood that at the time of the shooting, Gilligan was at his brother’s house not long after a family christening.
Father O’Mahony has also stated that Gilligan, who was released last October after serving a 20 year sentence for drug-trafficking, was given his last rites when he was brought into the hospital. According to the Gardaí’s reports, the 62-year-old was shot at seven times by two masked gunmen, suffering 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.
The Gardaí have also said that his injuries, following surgery, are no longer considered life threatening, although hospital staff have described his condition as critical, but stable. The notorious criminal is currently accompanied at the hospital by a number of armed Gardaí.
The Gardaí have also asked for witnesses to come forward and have called in two men who attempted to assassinate Gilligan last December. In that attempt on his life, the gunmen arrived at a different pub than the one that Gilligan was drinking in. Gardaí have reportedly said that these two would-be assassins are the prime suspects in the recent shooting.
A source for the Irish Independent has also come forward to say that Gilligan’s daughter and granddaughter were waiting for him in a car outside the property when the gunmen entered the house, and that, afterwards, they drove off in a silver 4×4. So far, it is unknown whether Gilligan had let the two men in or if he had let the door unlocked. According to the source, Gilligan’s daughter, Tracey, was waiting to drop him to Jessbrook when the incident occurred.
The source added: “The poor little girl is an awful state -what she would have seen is horrific in the extreme and then there was all the chaos in the aftermath of the shooting.”
When the Gardaí arrived at the scene, they were reportedly met by an angry mob of more than a dozen who verbally abused and threatened the officers, leading to a call for reinforcements. Gardaí have all but said that Gilligan, who was still conscious at the time, remained relatively calm.
So far, speculation has arisen that Gilligan was trying to re-establish himself as a career criminal and his efforts to raise money since he was released for Portlaoise have not gone unnoticed. It has been reported that he was pressuring old friends into giving him “contributions”.