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Former MMA fighter jailed for possession of ammunition in Dublin

Former MMA fighter Gary Bligh (center of picture).
Former MMA fighter Gary Bligh (center of picture).

A former MMA fighter has been jailed for nearly four years after being charged with three fully-loaded handguns.

Gary Bligh, 34, was sentenced to 47 months last week for possession of ammunition, including two Sig Sauer P226 pistols and one Sig Sauer P228 pistols. There were 16 9mm parabellum rounds in two of the firearms and 15 9mm parabellum rounds in the other.

The former MMA fighter was believed to transferring the weapons on orders from convicted Irish gangster John Gilligan. He was arrested on Sep. 30, 2020 after local law enforcement officials received intelligence that the firearms were being transported from Dublin to another gang in Roscommon.

Bligh was not considered a pivotal member of the gang and was believed to have involved with transporting the weapons due to a drug debt. Officers also found a small quantity of heroin in follow-up searches.

Gilligan, who was acquitted of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 2001 yet later served 17 years in prison for drug trafficking, was believed to have been trying to reestablish his criminal network and drug trade. However, the 68-year-old was arrested by police in Spain in October 2020. He has since been released on bail.