Northern Ireland

Dublin man John Gilligan to petition Supreme Court

John Gilligan Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption John Gilligan was arrested at Belfast International Airport in August

A Dublin man facing money laundering charges is to go to the UK's highest court in an effort to secure release from custody.

John Gilligan was arrested at a Belfast airport last summer with a suitcase containing nearly 23,000 euros.

He has been on remand in prison since, with repeated bail applications denied.

His lawyers told a High Court judge he has suffered discrimination compared to those being held while awaiting trial in other parts of the UK.

They contended that, unlike a 70-day maximum period operating in England and Wales, Mr Gilligan has now been detained twice as long.

But on Monday the High Court refused Mr Gilligan leave to take an appeal to the Supreme Court.

"The court is satisfied that there is no discrimination in this particular case," the judge said.

Following the verdict, Mr Gilligan's solicitor confirmed he will now petition directly for a hearing in London.

"We will be taking Mr Gilligan's case to the Supreme Court and asking it to rule on the issue of detention time limits for the north of Ireland," Niall O'Murchu said.

'New life in Spain'

Mr Gilligan, with an address in Greenforth Crescent, Dublin, was detained at Belfast International Airport on 23 August as he was about to board a flight to Alicante.

At the time the National Crime Agency (NCA) said officers recovered about 23,000 euros from his luggage.

He faces a charge of attempting to remove criminal property.

Fresh attempts to secure his release on bail centred on claims of delay in the case.

When that was turned down in December 2018, defence lawyers launched the application for leave to go to the Supreme Court.

They cited the maximum periods in England and Wales, and also Scotland, for an accused to be held in custody between a first court appearance and committal proceedings.

Mr Gilligan, it was contended, is now approaching 140 days detention.

Related Topics