John Gilligan is one of the most notorious and hated criminal figures in Irish history. His name is indelibly etched in the national psyche a quarter of a century after he crossed the line to organise the execution of the fearless, high-profile journalist Veronica Guerin. Gilligan's motive for the assassination was, in the words of the prosecution at a subsequent murder trial, 'the necessity of having to protect an evil empire'. At the time Gilligan was one of the most powerful and feared godfathers in the country who controlled a colossal drugs empire and the underworld's most dangerous mob.
Gilligan tells the story of a young man's rise through the ranks of gangland following his journey from petty thief to public enemy number one. He was part of the generation of young criminals - like the General, the Cahills, the Hutches - who ushered in the phenomenon of organised crime in Ireland and became household names in the process.
This close-up look at a criminal mastermind contains new details including a graphic account of the planning of the Guerin murder, drawn from a sealed statement which was never used, and the prison time and criminal activity which have occupied Gilligan since, up to his recent arrest in Spain on drug trafficking charges.