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American lawyer on charges of child porn in Sligo

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An American lawyer with relatives in Ireland is accused of possessing 646 images of child pornography in Sligo.

New Jersey-born Gerard Gilligan, 60, was flown into Ireland with a Garda (police) escort from New York last week.

He appeared at Carrick-on-Shannon District Court in Co. Leitrim within hours of landing. The court heard he was handed over to a Garda escort by the U.S. Marshals Service. He was formally arrested when he touched down on Irish soil at Dublin airport.

The court remanded him in custody to a Sligo hearing two days later. Then Sligo District Court returned him for trial in a higher court.

A book of evidence was served on Gilligan in Sligo that accused him of downloading the images at an address in Union Place in the town and possessing them on March 1, 2009. The court was told he has dual U.S. and Irish citizenship.

In a strong objection to bail Inspector Paul Kilcoyne said Gilligan was of no fixed address. The charge against him was serious and there was strong evidence to support the prosecution case.

Gilligan, a father of four separated from his family, told the court that he lived in Sligo town and later in Riverstown, Co. Sligo, some years ago. He qualified as an attorney in New Jersey in 1979 and practiced for 20 years.

He recognized he faced a serious charge. “I am applying for bail to be at large to participate in preparation of my own defense rather than sitting behind bars and having no role in it,” he said.

He said he was in a business partnership with a person in Westport, Co. Mayo in Internet marketing. His people were originally from Co. Roscommon and he still had relatives there and in south Co. Sligo.

State solicitor Hugh Sheridan told Judge Kevin Kilrane he was hoping for an early trial as it was not a particularly long case.

Defense counsel Keith O’Grady said the alleged offenses occurred over five years ago. Computers had been seized and he anticipated it would be 2015 before a trial would start.

Kilrane refused bail and remanded Gilligan in custody to Sligo Circuit Court on July 28.

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