Wednesday 21 February 2018

Gardai on alert for anniversary of RIRA chief's death

Alan Ryan: shot dead
Alan Ryan: shot dead

Paul Williams

GARDA chiefs have ordered a major security operation to prevent a paramilitary display marking the first anniversary of murdered Real IRA crime boss Alan Ryan.

Up to 300 officers, including the Emergency Response Unit and a riot squad, have been detailed to police a memorial march by dissident Republicans to Ryan's grave on Saturday.

Detectives have also stepped up surveillance of known RIRA thugs who are planning a "grand gesture" by murdering the north Dublin gang boss who ordered Ryan's execution to coincide with the anniversary.

Officers recently uncovered a cache of weapons close to Clontarf garda station which they believe was going to be used to shoot the criminal when he signed on as part of bail requirements for a separate offence.

Ryan, who was heavily involved in organised crime, was shot dead on September 3 last year as he walked with two friends through Clongriffin in Dublin.

Dissident Republicans staged a major paramilitary display at the funeral and a volley of shots was fired over the coffin outside Ryan's home in Donaghmede.

Thugs dressed in military garb closed off the north Dublin suburb and then marched behind the hearse to Balgriffin cemetery followed by hundreds of Republican sympathisers.

But Commissioner Martin Callinan is determined that these scenes will not be repeated on Saturday.

At the time Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the paramilitary display brought the country back to the dark days of the Troubles.

In the aftermath of Ryan's murder tensions escalated as his associates swore to avenge his death.

The two leaders of a notorious drug gang, who organised the dramatic hit, left the country soon afterwards.

Irish Independent

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