John Gilligan loses Supreme Court challenge

He had sought to keep three properties

John Gilligan loses Supreme Court challenge

John Gilligan on his way into the Supreme Court in Dublin | Image:

The Supreme Court has paved the way for three houses owned by convicted drug dealer John Gilligan and his family to be sold.

They have always maintained they were not bought with the proceeds of crime and have spent over 20 years trying to hold onto them.

In 2008, the Supreme Court declared that some of his assets, and those of his family, came from the proceeds of crime and they were forfeited to the State three years later.

The infamous Jessbrook equestrian centre in Kildare has already been sold and Mr Gilligan has now lost his attempt to hold onto an adjoining bungalow and two other houses in Dublin.

There were many strands to this appeal.

The Jessbrook equestrian centre up for sale in 2013 | Image:

The Gilligans claimed they were not given the opportunity to challenge the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) application to freeze the assets in 1996.

And they argued that all subsequent rulings were therefore flawed or invalid.

The Gilligans also wanted the 2008 Supreme Court decision to be revisited, but the judges said they failed to show it came within the “rare or exceptional circumstances” in which a final judgement or order may be set aside.

On behalf of the court, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she was also satisfied there had been no breach of their constitutional rights and dismissed all their applications and appeals.

The decision paves the way for the three properties to be sold.

The issue of costs will be dealt with at a later date.