Garda concern shooting will lead to feud

Wed, Sep 5, 2012, 01:00

GARDAÍ ARE concerned that the shooting dead of well-known dissident republican Alan Ryan will lead to protracted feuding between the so-called Real IRA and some of the largest organised crime gangs in Dublin.

The 31 year old was one of the leaders of the dissident republican organisation in Dublin and, along with a number of other volatile members, mainly from the north side of the city, had been trying to extort money from drugs gangs.

Some of the crime syndicates threatened by him are themselves suspects for a string of murders in recent years, with at least one gang in Finglas having shot dead a dozen men in the past decade.

Gardaí are trying to establish if a number of gangs co-operated in organising and paying for Ryan’s murder in Clongriffin, north Dublin, on Monday, or if one of the gangs had acted alone in doing so.

Detectives believe Ryan was a significant player in fundraising for the Real IRA and had established links with other key members of the organisation in the Border region and in the North. It is now feared his death will be avenged by those elements.

In a statement issued online yesterday, the Derry 32 County Sovereignty Movement extended its sympathies to his family “following the cowardly murder of our friend, comrade and activist Alan Ryan”.

It claimed Ryan was an anti-drugs activist “shot in the back in cold blood” in a “cowardly” act that had pained “the movement”.

“He will not be forgotten by his comrades who remain and who will carry on his legacy as resolutely as he did the legacy of others who fell before him.”

Ryan was shot at Grange Lodge Avenue, Clongriffin, close to his home, when two gunmen opened fire on him and one of his associates on Monday just after 3.30pm. As they were walking on the street, a car pulled up and at least one gunman got out and opened fire.

He shot Ryan in the body and head. The man he was with was shot in the legs and is recovering in hospital. The gunman then got back into the car and was driven off at speed. The car was later found burned out at Hole in the Wall Road in Donaghmede.

Gardaí expect Ryan to be given a paramilitary funeral for which a policing plan is being prepared in anticipation of an emotionally charged atmosphere.

Many of those criminals he had extorted money from are based in Coolock, Donaghmede and Kilbarrack and checkpoints manned by the Garda Emergency Response Unit had been established to reassure the public the killing was being met with a full response.

The dead man was due to go on trial for extortion in the months ahead. He had served time in prison for possession of a firearm and for participating in a Real IRA firearms training camp near Stamullen, Co Meath, in 1999.

He and some of his associates are suspects for the killing of drug dealer Seán Winters (41) in Portmarnock, north Dublin, in September 2010, and for the shooting dead of drug gang leader Michael Kelly (30) in Coolock in September 2011.