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Kinahan cartel ordered hit on Gilligan as he ‘muscled in’ on drug trade

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The Kinahan cartel ordered the murder of John Gilligan when he tried to muscle in on their drug trade following his release from prison, it has emerged

s soon as he left Portlaoise Prison in October 2013 after serving 17 years for drug trafficking, the crime boss began demanding money from his former gangland friend John Cunningham – Christy Kinahan’s partner in crime.

However, within days of his release, gardaí issued Gilligan with an official warning of a threat to his life.

A new biography on Gilligan reveals how, despite the threats, he was determined to reclaim his place in the hierarchy of organised crime.

He joined forces with Stephen ‘Dougie’ Moran, a member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang, who acted as his enforcer and bodyguard.

Moran drove Gilligan around in an armour-plated SUV as he visited drug dealers across west Dublin, demanding “welcome home money”.

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Gardaí later learned Gilligan and Moran tried to hire James Quinn, one of Dublin’s most dangerous hitmen, to carry out a killing, unaware that Quinn and the intended victim worked for the Kinahan cartel.

The meeting took place on December 3 when Quinn was seen handing Gilligan an envelope containing several untraceable, encrypted mobile phones.

Gardaí believed that after the meeting, the cartel ordered Gilligan’s assassination.

Two days later, a gunman stormed the Halfway House pub in Ashtown looking for Gilligan, who was drinking in a pub a short distance away.

The following day, reporters asked Gilligan about the incident, which he shrugged off as a “Halloween prank”.  

On March 1, 2014, two gunmen shot him six times when they burst into a house where he was attending a party. Although critically injured, he survived. Two weeks later, Moran was gunned down outside his home in Lucan.

Twenty-four hours later, Gilligan, still unable to walk, was picked up from hospital and driven to a ferry headed for Britain. He did not return to Ireland until 2016, when he is understood to have “come to an arrangement” with the Kinahans.

In Review today: exclusive extracts from Paul Williams’s new book, Gilligan – the mob boss who changed the face of organis

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