Wednesday, 17 December 2003

Top gangland drug dealer found dead in Spanish home

By Helen Bruce

Wednesday December 17 2003
THE body of a top Dublin gangland figure who lived a hedonistic lifestyle on the Costa Blanca in Spain was being flown home last night.

Drugs trafficker Liam Judge (44) was found dead in his home in Torrevieja, about 20 miles from Alicante, where he had been living with Tracey Gilligan, the daughter of convicted Dublin drug baron John Gilligan.

The body of Judge, who ran Alicante Plant Hire, a heavy machinery rental business at Las Montesonos, was flown back from Dublin in order to be buried at Allenwood, Co Kildare.

An autopsy showed that Judge died of natural causes. It was understood that 28-year-old Tracey Gilligan was back in Ireland when he died.

Sources feared that Judge may have had a heart attack brought on by his hedonistic lifestyle. "He was drinking up to three bottles of whiskey a day and was also doing cocaine," said one garda source yesterday. "He had a terrible lifestyle and it could have taken its toll. He had a bottle of whiskey for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days."

Judge was associated with the Westies drugs gang based in Blanchardstown. Officers suspect he organised drugs shipments for many criminal gangs here and was able to buy a pub in Spain with the proceeds.

He was being probed by the Criminal Assets Bureau and their investigation could still yield much of his assets.

It is believed Judge went into hiding following the kidnapping in 2002 of his estranged wife, who is not involved in crime. It is believed she was kidnapped following rumours Judge had given the Gardai information on a drug gang. She was later released.

- Helen Bruce

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