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DOUBLE KILLER HANDS HIMSELF IN TO HOSPITAL; 'Insane' Gallagher blasted ex and her mum.

Byline: CATHAL McMAHON; STEPHEN MAGUIRE

DOUBLE killer John Gallagher has handed himself into the Central Mental Hospital.

The infamous gunman blasted his ex-girlfriend and her mum in the grounds of Sligo General Hospital in 1988.

The then 22-year-old was tried for the killings of Anne Gillespie, 18, and her mother 51-year-old Annie, but found to be insane.

The Donegal man went on his shooting spree when Anne told him their romance was over.

He took a shotgun and blasted her and her mother to death as they left Sligo hospital after visiting Anne's sick grandmother. Twelve years later, he escaped from the Central Mental Institute in Dundrum and went on the run.

He fled to England where he married Wicklow woman Caroline Southern and the couple settled in Birmingham.

But the brazen killer moved back to Ireland several years ago and has been enjoying his freedom living in the border town of Strabane, Co Tyrone.

Because he pleaded guilty by reason of insanity to the shootings, he was never convicted of any crime so he could not be extradited to the Republic.

Gardai vowed to arrest him and have him sent back to a secure unit in Dundrum if he ever set foot on Irish soil. But it is understood Gallagher handed himself in at the Central Mental Hospital yesterday. A source at the Department of Justice last night confirmed that Gallagher has been detained.

Last night, gardai in Donegal had not been made aware that Gallagher had handed himself in.

But there has been stunned reaction among locals.

Gallagher is still on speaking terms with brother Christopher and his mother, who still live in Lifford.

However, he is estranged from the rest of his family.

One of those close family members, who asked not to be named, said Gallagher was "not mad but bad".

The relative revealed: "He knows exactly what he is doing by handing himself in.

"He will be trying to get out as soon as he can."

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM JAnnie Gillespie SURRENDER JJohn Gallagher
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2012
Words:339
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