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Home in the sun Luxury villa where John Gilligan was arrested has been linked to his family for 20 years

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The villa on Calle Covadonga, Torrevieja in Spain

The villa on Calle Covadonga, Torrevieja in Spain

The villa on Calle Covadonga, Torrevieja in Spain

The luxury villa where John Gilligan was arrested on suspicion of running his drug network is the same property where his daughter Treacy was living while he languished in jail.

It is also the stunning private home where Gilligan’s one time pal ‘Fat’ Tony Armstrong was regularly collated around the time he was arrested and quizzed about the murder of the notorious Westies, whose bodies were found buried in a concrete grave in a nearby warehouse.

The house at Los Balcones has been linked to Gilligan and his family and associates for at least two decades and it is now suspected that it is the same property referred to in secret footage recorded by an undercover Sunday World team shortly after Gilligan’s release.

It sits tucked away in a wealthy residential area of Torrevieja near Alicante, which has been associated with Gilligan since his gang was linked to the Judges Chambers pub, which opened in 1997 as he fought extradition from Belmarsh Prison back to Ireland where he was wanted on charges relating to the murder of Veronica Guerin.

During its original investigation into Gilligan and his assets, CAB believed that he had squirrelled away a fortune in Spain and believed that he had purchased up to 15 houses and industrial warehouses in the Alicante area which were never identified.

CAB suspected that Gilligan had bought properties in Spain before and after his trial for the murder of Guerin but had managed to keep them at arm’s length from the law because of poor co-operation at the time from Spanish police.

During their lengthy proceedings and fight with the Bureau, Gilligan, his wife Geraldine, daughter Treacy and son Darren insisted they were broke and had no way of living should their Irish homes be taken from them. They claimed that the Judges Chamber pub was owned by Gilligan’s former pal Liam Judge, despite the fact that officers believed it had been bought with his drug money. When Judge died in Spain in 2004 Treacy Gilligan inherited it and later told a court she earned just €200 a week working there.

In 2006, when the bodies of Stephen Sugg and Shane Coates showed up in a warehouse near Alicante two years after they had gone missing, police focused on Gilligan’s associate ‘Fat’ Tony Armstrong and arrested him at a property at Los Balcones.

At the same time, the Sunday World photographed Treacy Gilligan living at the same villa where her father was arrested last week.

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John Gilligan in handcuffs following his arrest in Spain

John Gilligan in handcuffs following his arrest in Spain

John Gilligan in handcuffs following his arrest in Spain

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Treacy Gilligan, Judges Chambers pub, Alicante, Spain

Treacy Gilligan, Judges Chambers pub, Alicante, Spain

Treacy Gilligan, Judges Chambers pub, Alicante, Spain

At the time she was living full-time in Spain and was pregnant with her second child after striking up a relationship with a local pub owner following the sudden death of her lover Judge.

Treacy was photographed coming and going from the property over a number of days. In 2015, during an undercover sting by a Sunday World team, Treacy Gilligan offered to sell our reporters her pub, the Judges Chambers, and looked for ‘the black money’ in payment.

Over the course of a number of meetings with our team she said she also owned two villas in the Los Balcones region near the hospital and was selling one for €350,000.

It is understood the ownership of the property at Los Balcones is now to be examined as Spanish police continue their probe into Gilligan and his newly-emerged drug gang smashed during recent raids.

A video released by Policia Nationale showed Gilligan face down in the kitchen of the villa and later being led outside by officers as he was arrested on suspicion of drug dealing and money laundering. A gun – a Colt Python – was found buried on the property.

As our photographs show, extensive digs were conducted to locate the gun, which is the same make and model as the one used in the Guerin murder.

While gardai are sceptical that Gilligan could possibly have held on to the weapon for so long, Spanish police believe that it is rare enough to require ballistic testing.

Revelations that the same property has been linked to Gilligan for decades increase the mystery around the gun and why it was buried like a keepsake.

Properties in the Los Balcones area, known as the Golden Mile, can sell for up to €1million with villas like the one Gilligan was arrested in fetching between €500,000 to €700,000.

John Gilligan was arrested along with his son Darren during the police bust but he is the only one to remain in custody pending further investigation by a magistrate.

Gilligan has been travelling between Ireland, the UK and Spain for the past three years with cops suspecting he was setting up his new drug operation.

Sunday World


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