Callinan rejects funeral criticism
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has rejected criticism of his officers for failing to intervene when shots were fired at the funeral of murdered Real IRA member Alan Ryan last Saturday.
Mr Callinan said it was not the case that dissident Republicans had been allowed to act with impunity. The Garda Síochána had a proud track record in combating dissident Republican activity, he said.
He expressed disappointment that agreements made between the Gardaí and the organisers were not abided by.
A number of mourners at the funeral wore full paramilitary gear, which included military-style jumpers and combat trousers, scarves covering their faces, dark sunglasses and black berets. Three shots were fired at Mr Ryan’s house, before his remains were taken to the funeral mass.
Mr Callinan, speaking on RTÉ radio, indicated that the response of Gardaí at the funeral was influenced by the fact that members of Mr Ryan’s family, neighbours and other onlookers were present at the funeral.
He said the chief superintendant in charge did try to intervene but was prevented from dealing with “other issues” because of safety considerations.
“We’ll be pursuing every avenue of inquiry and where criminality has been highlighted we will prosecute those responsible,” he said.
While Mr Ryan’s murder has led to speculation about possible retaliation by members of the Real IRA, Mr Callinan urged anyone with the intention of revenge to “think again”.