Man shot dead in gangland style attack

A MAN shot dead in a gangland style attack was regarded by gardaí as a leading member of one of the most dangerous crime gangs…

A MAN shot dead in a gangland style attack was regarded by gardaí as a leading member of one of the most dangerous crime gangs in the State and was also a member of the so-called Real IRA.

Alan Ryan (31) was shot at Grange Lodge Avenue, Clongriffin, north Dublin, close to his home when two gunmen opened fire on him and one of his associates yesterday just after 3.30pm. It was the first gangland killing since March.

The man he was with was wounded in the legs. However, his injuries are not said to be life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The dead man lived at Grange Abbey Drive close to where he was shot and was well known to gardaí.


It is understood he was visiting family members at a house in the area and when he left that house he was ambushed on the street. A car carrying what gardaí believe were two gunmen pulled up and at least one of the passengers got out and started firing at Mr Ryan and the other man.

Mr Ryan was hit a number of times, including as he lay wounded on the ground. He was shot at least once in the head by the masked gunman, who then ran back to the waiting vehicle and was driven off at speed.

The victims were taken from the scene to nearby Beaumont Hospital, where Mr Ryan was pronounced dead a short time later. The other man was still in hospital last night.

Gardaí found a burnt-out car at Hole in the Wall Road in Donaghmede which the investigating team of detectives believe was used by the killers.

Mr Ryan was on bail awaiting serious criminal charges arising from an alleged extortion racket he was involved in. He had allegedly threatened some pub owners in the city to close their premises and was accused of extorting money from others.

Mr Ryan was also linked to the private security sector and in recent years had control of contracts for the supply of security staff to some pubs and clubs in Dublin.

He and his Real IRA associates had also become involved in feuding with a number of major crime gangs from the city from whom they were trying to extort money.

They were embroiled in a feud with the major drug and armed robbery gang in Finglas once led by Martin “Marlo” Hyland, who was shot dead in 2006, and then led by Eamon Dunne (34), who was shot dead in a pub in Cabra in April 2010.

When drug dealer Sean Winters (41) was shot dead in Portmarnock, north Dublin, in September 2010, Mr Ryan and his associates emerged as the chief suspects.

Members of the gang were also suspected of having shot dead drugs gang leader Michael Kelly (30) in Coolock in September 2011.

In 1999,when he was aged 19 years, Mr Ryan was arrested at a Real IRA firearms training camp in Stamullen, Co Meath. He was one of three young men who were later convicted of receiving firearms training from three older republicans at a disused cellar in the ruins of Herbertstown House.

The derelict property was under surveillance by gardaí when the men arrived for training. Detectives found an assault rifle, a sub-machine gun and a semi-automatic pistol in the cellar.

All six were convicted at the Special Criminal Court in 2001, with Mr Ryan jailed for four years. While he had no convictions at the time of his arrest in 1999, he had been caught in possession of a loaded revolver at his home in September 1998 and was on bail awaiting trial when arrested at the Stamullen firearms training exercise.

By the time he was jailed for four years in relation to the Stamullen incident, he was already serving a three-year sentence for being caught with the gun in 1998. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively, meaning he was effectively jailed for seven years.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times