Major Garda presence at Vincent Ryan funeral in Dublin

Dissident republican’s cortege accompanied by security from church to cemetery

A major security operation around the funeral of dissident republican Vincent Ryan in Dublin saw many armed gardaí on the streets.

Ryan, a father of one, was shot dead in a gangland-style attack as he sat in a car outside his partner's family home on McKee Road, Finglas, on Monday of last week. His funeral was in north Dublin yesterday.

There was a very significant Garda presence along the short route of the funeral cortege from his home on Grange Abbey Drive, Donaghmede, to the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Teams of uniformed gardaí, armed detectives, members of Regional Support Unit and the Emergency Response Unit were positioned close to the family home and at the church and along the route between both.


Teams of personnel from the Garda’s Public Order Unit, or riot squad, were on standby in vans parked on residential streets near the church in case of any public-order issues or efforts to form a paramilitary colour guard.

After the funeral Mass, the coffin was taken by hearse to Fingal Cemetery. Most of the gardaí followed it.

In 2012 when Ryan's brother, the Real IRA leader in Dublin, Alan Ryan, was shot dead the show of paramilitary strength at his funeral led to charges that the Garda was ill prepared.

On that occasion a colour guard of dissident republicans was at the church wearing military-style combat, dark glasses and berets with their faces covered in scarves. Shots were fired over Alan Ryan’s coffin in the hours before his funeral Mass, with gardaí claiming they had been assured by his family there would be no such display.

Fears of similar scenes at Vincent Ryan’s funeral eased somewhat when his family issued a statement at the weekend saying that, while he would have a republican funeral, it would not be accompanied by any “military” trappings.

When Alan was killed in September 2012 the main suspects were senior gangland figures who he, and the faction of the Real IRA he headed, was trying to extort money from.

Vincent Ryan was a member of that faction and was suspected of involvement in two murders.

It is believed he was shot dead last week by the same people who killed his older brother or in retaliation for the shooting dead of drug gang leader Michael Kelly (30) in Coolock in September 2011, a crime in which he was implicated.

He spent a year in prison on remand awaiting trial on firearms charges which he was cleared of in October 2013.

The Ryan family statement at the weekend claimed Vincent Ryan had stepped away from his involvement in dissident republicanism and had not been active in that regard since his release from jail.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times