John Gilligan has failed to convince the European Court of Human Rights that delays in legal proceedings to seize his assets resulted in him and his family being denied their human rights.
The convicted drug trafficker, his wife Geraldine, and their children, Treacy and Darren, were hoping to overturn a decision by our Supreme Court.
Ten years ago, the Gilligans failed to convince the High Court that their properties, which included the Jessbrook equestrian centre, were bought from legitimate earnings.
They appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming they weren’t given a chance to challenge the original application to seize the assets; but they lost.
They then appealed that decision to the European Court of Human Rights, which resulted in yet another legal defeat for them today.
In its judgement, the Strasbourg court accepted there were delays in the proceedings, but it lay the blame for them at the Gilligans’ door, describing their legal tactics as “wrong-headed” and designed to frustrate matters rather than resolve them.
The court also noted that it took them 12 years to actually challenge the order.
With no other avenue of appeal available to John Gilligan and his family, today’s decision finally brings an end to what has been a 25-year saga.