'RIRA' man held after pistol found
Gardaí have arrested a suspected member of the Real IRA and seized a loaded pistol in an operation targeting the dissident republican grouping.
The man being detained was a close friend of Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in Dublin in September and was a leading member of the Real IRA in the city.
Ryan had been involved in extortion with menaces in the years leading up to his death and the man arrested today is believed by gardaí to have worked closely with him in that regard.
He has been under surveillance as part of the wider Garda probe into the Real IRA and the fall out from the Ryan murder in Grange Lodge Avenue, Clongriffin on September 3rd.
The suspect, who is aged 21 years and has an address in Dublin’s north inner city, was arrested when a car was stopped by gardaí on Temple St in the north inner city just before 11am.
Armed members of the Emergency Response Unit and anti-terrorist Special Detective Unit moved in and searched the vehicle. They found a 9mm Beretta pistol in the vehicle.
Gardaí say it is unclear if the gun was being transported somewhere for the purposes of an immediate shooting or if it was going to be hidden for a period before being used in any crime.
However, they are investigating of the gun may have been intended for use in a revenge attack linked to the Ryan murder or as part of the Real IRA’s feud with drugs gangs in Dublin.
Garda sources said today’s arrest and seizure of the weapon was “very significant” in that the arrested man was effectively a member of Alan Ryan’s inner circle.
The suspect was detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and is being questioned at Mountjoy Garda station. He can be held for 72 hours without charge.
He is on bail in relation to serious criminal offences. He is also a suspect in the investigation into the scenes that surrounded Ryan’s funeral, including the appearance of a masked colour guard dressed in paramilitary uniform at the church and the firing of shots of Ryan’s coffin at the family home on Donaghmede on the morning of his funeral.