Belfast Telegraph

Prosecutors ‘can reveal details of John Gilligan’s past during trial’

The 67-year-old, from Dublin, is accused of possessing and attempting to remove criminal property.

John Gilligan leaving Coleraine Magistrates’ Court in Co Londonderry (Cate McCurry/PA)
John Gilligan leaving Coleraine Magistrates’ Court in Co Londonderry (Cate McCurry/PA)

By Michael McHugh, PA

Prosecutors can give details of John Gilligan’s past during his trial for possession of and attempting to remove criminal property, a judge said.

The Irishman, 67, from Greenforth Crescent in Dublin, was stopped at Belfast International Airport in Co Antrim last year with 22,280 euro (£19,240) in cash as he was about to board a flight to Alicante in Spain.

He was questioned about an anti-insomnia prescribed medication which is “prevalent” in the Irish drugs market.

Gilligan had a piece of paper with the name of the drug printed on it but said it was for his personal use.

He said the money was intended to rent a house in Spain and denied planning to smuggle the Zopiclone drug, barrister Robin Steer told a court.

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John Gilligan (Niall Carson/PA)

The accused also said he had a heart condition.

Details of his past were outlined at a magistrates’ court in Coleraine where Mr Gilligan is due to stand trial later.

Mr Steer summarised the accused’s defence as: “It is a coincidence that this particular type of drug is relevant within the drugs scene.”

He added: “It is a mere coincidence that I am bringing this money out in cash and going to an area where Zopiclone is cheaper and widely available.”

And he said the drugs were sold for 20 euro (£17) for 14.

PA

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