Thursday 19 September 2019

Former Real IRA chief ‘The Beast’ was due to wed his fiancée in six months

Aidan O'Driscoll and his fiancée Marion Ryan in front of the Eiffel Tower
Aidan O'Driscoll and his fiancée Marion Ryan in front of the Eiffel Tower Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Real IRA chief Aidan O'Driscoll, who was this week gunned down by former associates, had been planning a wedding with his girlfriend.

The couple were due to wed in six months but now, his fiancée Marion Ryan will instead be making arrangements for O'Driscoll's funeral.

The 37-year-old, who was nicknamed 'The Beast', was ambushed by two men in balaclavas as he was walking along the Old Commons Road in Blackpool on the northside of Cork city at around 5pm on Wednesday.

He was shot in the back before the gunman pumped two further bullets into him as he lay dying.

His fiancée Marion Ryan recently updated her Facebook to a picture of the pair standing in front of the Eiffel Tower as she shows off her diamond engagement ring.

The slain gangster recently updated his own profile picture and friends gushed underneath.

One replied: "Ahhh ye husband and wife in six months".

Father-of-two O'Driscoll, from Ballyvolane, had a lengthy list of enemies.

He was the former Officer Commanding of the Real IRA in Dublin but was kicked out of the group after a row with Alan Ryan, who was himself murdered in September 2012.

He returned to Cork after the dispute and was shot in the legs as part of a punishment style attack in June 2013. In a statement the group said he was shot for "un-republican activities".

Gardaí have begun examining a number of lines of enquiry into his brutal murder.

A number of senior sources and underworld contacts have revealed that O'Driscoll was targeted as part of a local dispute with republicans who he previously associated with.

One source familiar with the case said: “O'Driscoll had fallen out with a long line of people but at the moment it would appear that this is a localised dispute.

“Gardaí had examined his connection to Limerick based dissidents but this is very, very unlikely.

“Likewise they have not ruled out a revenge attack by local drugs gangs but again there is no evidence for this.”

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