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Tom Brady: They won't be so cocky when officers come knocking

GARDAI wisely opted to avoid a major confrontation when paramilitary activists fired a volley of shots over the coffin of terror boss and criminal Alan Ryan outside the family home.

Immediate intervention by the large party of gardai present at the funeral would have sparked off ugly clashes with the dissident republicans from both sides of the Border.

The sight of members of a garda public order unit moving into the mourners in an attempt to arrest the armed thugs would have caused intense distress to Ryan's family, neighbours and friends, who were there to pay their respects quietly.

It would also have given the oxygen of publicity that is always sought by the organisers of funeral displays.

The leaders of dissident organisations, whose attempts to create mayhem are regularly thwarted by the police on both sides of the Border, crave the headlines when they are given the opportunity.

But gardai chose to play a waiting game and relied on the experience that has been acquired as a result of the Northern Troubles over the past four decades.

A special team of officers has been assembled at Clontarf station to investigate the incident but already anti-terror officers believe they know who took part in the paramilitary display and senior gardai are determined to take action.

Those who hid behind their sunglasses and scarves tried to put on a show of bravado for their associates on Saturday.

But they will be less cocky when police come knocking on their doors in the early hours of the morning.

Irish Independent