NewsCrime Desk

Gilligan gang member Hippo back in prison

Paul 'Hippo' Ward
Paul 'Hippo' Ward

GILLIGAN gang member Paul 'Hippo' Ward is back in the slammer after having an appeal against a four-month sentence for driving without insurance thrown out.

The mobster - whose conviction for the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996 was quashed - was taken into Mountjoy Prison on Thursday.

However, the 52-year-old - who previously organised a 1997 riot in Mountjoy during which prison officers were threatened with hanging - was moved out of the prison to Limerick within 24 hours of his arrival.

Ward was nabbed by gardai driving without insurance in Clondalkin, Dublin, on December 15 last.

He was initially sentenced to four months in prison at Blanchardstown District Court on May 16 on charges of driving without insurance and failing to produce either a driving licence or insurance.

However, a stay was put on the sentence after he lodged an appeal.

Former drug addict Ward was a key member of the John Gilligan mob that acted with impunity before Guerin's shocking murder.

He was sentenced to life in 1998 after he was found guilty of planning the murder of the 37-year-old journalist, who was shot as she sat in her car at a traffic light on the Naas Dual Carriageway.

His conviction was overturned when the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled too much weight was given to supergrass Charlie Bowden's evidence.

However, it was not enough to get the former junkie out of prison, as he had to serve a 12-year term for his part in the Mountjoy riots while he was on remand.

Ward and a gang of inmates imprisoned four warders in the prison's segregation unit.

The guards were threatened with hanging and had nooses draped around their necks.

Brian 'Tosser' Meehan is the only member of the gang who is serving time for Guerin's murder.

Charlie Bowden is in a witness protection programme.