Gardaí investigate suspect punishment shooting of former Real IRA chief

Detectives had warned man last year that they believed his life was under threat

Gardaí in Cork are investigating the shooting of a man in his 30s.

Gardaí in Cork are investigating the shooting of a man in his 30s.

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 21:06

Gardaí in Cork have begun an investigation after a leading dissident republican was wounded in the leg in what gardaí suspect was a punishment shooting by the Real IRA in the early hours of this morning.

Detectives were alerted when the man, who is in his 30s, presented at Cork University Hospital at about 1am with a gunshot wound to the leg.

They spoke briefly to him, but he declined to tell them what happened to him. He discharged himself at 5am.

Gardaí believe that the man, who is from Cork’s north side, but was living in west Dublin was the chief of staff of the southern command of the Real IRA up until about 12 months ago when he was deposed shortly before the murder of Dublin Real IRA leader, Alan Ryan.

A new faction took over the Real IRA intent on eradicating criminality and the Corkman, who is nicknamed the Beast, was suspected of stealing funds which the organisation had raised through protection rackets and extortion.

He returned to Cork but was known to be under threat from the new leadership under the command of a man from Lurgan in Co Armagh.

Last year gardaí advised the Corkman that they believed that his life was under threat.

However one informed source told the Irish Times the fact that the man was shot in the leg in a manner which would not leave him permanently disabled would suggest he had come to some agreement with his former comrades.

“There was no way, he would have gone to meet anyone unless he was sure of who he was meeting and what they were planning - it has all the hallmarks of a planned or arranged punishment shooting where he was told take his punishment and move on,” said the source.

In March, another senior Real IRA figure associated with the Alan Ryan faction, Peter Butterly from Dunleer, Co Louth was gunned down outside the Huntsman Pub in Gormanston, Co Meath.

Gardaí believe he was lured to his death in a set-up shooting by former comrades.