John Gilligan tells judge 'I just want to get on with my life' but is denied bail again on money laundering charge
A Dublin man accused of money laundering offences after being arrested at Belfast International Airport with a bag containing nearly €23,000 has failed in a new bid to be released from custody.
John Gilligan was refused bail again despite insisting the cash came from family and friends.
Appearing via prison video-link, the 66-year-old told a High Court judge: "I just want to get on with my life."
During the fresh hearing prosecutors disputed claims that his life is under threat.
Gilligan, with an address at Greenforth Crescent, Dublin, was detained on August 23 as he was about to board a flight to Alicante.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said officers recovered around €23,000 from his luggage.
He faces a charge of attempting to remove criminal property.
At previous hearings the prosecution alleged he had "sold up" and was leaving Ireland behind for a new life in Spain.
The money in his suitcase was said to have come from donations and the sale of belongings.
One man had allegedly purchased a watch from him for 5,000 euros, the court was told.
But Gilligan's legal team insisted he only intended to rent a property in Spain for a limited period of time.
With bail refused last month due to concerns the accused could abscond, he returned to the High Court in a bid to establish a change of circumstances.
Defence barrister Plunkett Nugent had stressed the need to keep any subsequent living arrangements undisclosed.
He contended that his client is facing a "real and immediate" threat to his life.
Disputing that assertion today, however, Crown counsel said: "The position the prosecution are now taking is they are not accepting there's a threat to the applicant's life."
The renewed bid to be released from custody was based on newly available documents which demonstrate Gilligan fully complied with bail terms in a separate case from the 1980s.
His lawyers argued that he has no intention of fleeing while involved on ongoing legal proceedings over a "vast property portfolio" in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr Nugent also submitted that letters have been sent to the NCA setting out accounts of money given to the accused.
"That demolishes the case that is alleged against the defendant," he said.
During proceedings Gilligan insisted he has never before refused to attend court, describing his "respect" for the authorities.
"I committed no crime whatsoever, that money was made up from my family," he added.
But denying bail once more, Judge Patrick Kinney held that no change in circumstances had been established.
He said: "There's a limit to what the court can properly do when matters are brought back at such short notice."