2 Apr, 2023 @ 15:00
1 min read

Officers from Ireland and Spain stage raids in Alicante to smash drug ring run by gangster Barry Young

John Gilligan Arrest

IRISH police officers travelled to Spain this week to stage a series of raids in Alicante province, aimed at smashing a drug gang run by gangster Barry Young.

According to the Irish Mirror, the gardai believe that the gang was also in cahoots with another mobster, John Gilligan, 71, who is also located in the same area of the Valencia region. 

Pictures showed members of the gardai and officers from the Spanish National Police raiding a total of five properties in the Costa Blanca.

Sources told the newspaper that the operation was targeting what is left of the gang controlled by Young, 37, who hails from Sligo in Ireland. He is facing a life sentence back home after admitting earlier this month that he was running a criminal gang.

Young is currently behind bars in Ireland awaiting sentencing. 

The gardai said in a statement that ‘as part of an ongoing investigation targeting organised crime in Sligo, we worked with our Spanish colleagues Policias.es on a number of searches in Alicante. Sligo Gardaí are being supported by the Criminal Assets Bureau and our National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.’

The same sources stated that Young’s gang was heavily involved in the drugs business in Sligo, and that they were also establishing themselves in Alicante.

According to the Sunday World newspaper, Young is considered to be one of the biggest players on the drug scene outside Ireland and has ties to major gangs, including the so-called ‘Mr Big’ network in Dublin.

Gilligan, meanwhile, is based in Torrevieja. He is facing three years in a Spanish jail for allegedly sending drugs to Ireland via post

His gang was responsible for the murder of crime journalist Veronica Guerin in Dublin, back in June 1996.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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