Delays in the investigation into the murder of dissident republican Alan Ryan are hampering his family's right to a prompt inquiry into his death, their solicitor has said.
At an update at Dublin Coroner's Court of the Garda investigation, solicitor for his family David Thompson said he intends to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to ask her to prioritise the case.
Ryan (32) from Grange Abbey Drive in Donaghmede, Dublin 13, was shot on a north Dublin street on September 3rd, 2012. He was a leading member of the Real IRA in Dublin and gardaí considered him a significant crime figure.
He was killed when a gunman approached him from behind as he walked along Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin with two friends. The gunman opened fire and shot him multiple times.
Ryan’s paramilitary-style funeral was interpreted as a show of force by the Real IRA and sparked huge controversy. The murder of the father of one is understood to be part of an ongoing gangland feud.
The inquest into his death was opened in October 2012 and adjourned to allow the Garda investigation continue. It has been mentioned at Dublin Coroner’s Court six times since then.
In October last year, Det Insp Tony Howard told coroner Dr Brian Farrell that gardaí were preparing a file on a person recently arrested as part of the investigation.
Updating the coroner on their progress , Det Insp Howard said that since the last mention the DPP has entered a “nolle prosequi”, meaning they are no longer pursuing a prosecution for one individual who was before the courts charged with an offence relating to Ryan’s death.
An attempt to extradite from the UK another man who is charged with an offence relating to the death failed, he said, and the man remains outside the jurisdiction.
Det Insp Howard said the file on the person arrested in September last year has yet to be submitted to the DPP and this will take “at least” another two months. “Then the DPP will have to adjudicate so a number of months will pass before this process is complete,” he said.
Mr Thompson said the Ryan family, who were represented in court by two of Alan Ryan’s brothers, are anxious the matter proceeds to hearing as soon as possible. He asked the coroner to make a short adjournment in order to “focus people’s minds”.
A number of files have been sent to the DPP from the investigation and an officer has been assigned to it who would “very, very familiar” with it, he said, so it could be “turned around quicker”.
He added: “I also intend to write to the [DPP] asking them to grant this some form of priority because the inquest is being delayed and his family’s rights to have a prompt inquiry into his death are being hampered because of this investigation,” he said.
Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest for further mention on June 8th.