Notorious Irish gangster John Gilligan has been described as ‘stable’ after he was shot seven times in an attempt on his life. He was the chief suspect in the notorious murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.
The gangland leader was given the last rites after the shooting at his brother’s house in the Dublin suburb of Clondalkin.
Gilligan, who police believe ordered the murder of Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
Guerin, an investigative reporter who had done a number of exposes on Irish gangland figures, especially Gilligan, was killed at a traffic light by an unknown gunman in June 1996 on her way home from a court appearance.
Her murder sent shockwaves around the world. Gilligan was considered the prime suspect by cops in ordering the killing but was never convicted.
He was attacked by two armed men who burst into the house after he had attended a christening party at a local pub.
The Sunday Independent reports that Gilligan was shot seven times as he sought refuge in the toilet. He is receiving treat at James Connolly hospital in Blanchardstown to injuries to his face, chest, hip and leg.
The report says he was shot once in the chest – but the bullet missed his heart and lungs.
A source told the paper that Gilligan was shot once in the face, which ‘took a chunk out of the forehead’.
Gilligan was also shot in the hip and the paper says it is believed the bullet may have travelled into the stomach. He was also shot in the leg. A source said: “His eyes were full of blood.”
Recently released from prison, Gilligan fell to the ground bleeding as the gunmen fled from the scene.
The report says that paramedics received a call from family members. A voice on the line said: “It’s John Gilligan - he’s been hit.”
He was still conscious as he was rushed to hospital by ambulance.
Police were in attendance in the Emergency Unit as medical personnel fought to save his life. He was said to be conscious at all times but unresponsive.
The source added: “He was aware, but out of it - if that makes sense.”
The Saturday shooting follows a number of threats on Gilligan’s life since his release from prison last October.
On December 14, Gilligan narrowly avoided death when assassins went to the wrong north Dublin pub.