Would-be buyers of the equestrian centre once owned by one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals have been wished good luck should they embark on a treasure hunt.
Nearly 17 years after drugs trafficker John Gilligan’s prized Jessbrook estate in Co Kildare was seized, the Criminal Assets Bureau insisted rumours that he stashed his money there were just old wives’ tales.
“Speculation has been going on since he went into jail, I can’t comment,” a CAB spokesman said. “But we’ll tell them, ‘best of luck’.”
The Olympic-sized Jessbrook Equestrian Centre, in Mucklon near Enfield, has lain empty since July 1996.
It has finally gone on the property market for E500,000 – a fraction of previous valuations of around E5 million.
Barry McDonald, of REA McDonald, which is handling the sale of the property, said the price reflected the current property market and has nothing to do with the previous owner’s identity.
Just shy of 50 acres, the unfinished centre – built by Gilligan in an attempt to pass himself off as a legitimate businessman – includes a 3,500-seat arena, which is now a shell for rat poison and bird droppings.
Gilligan, 61, is due to be released from prison within months.