'King Ratt' fury as he misses his brother's funeral

Niall O'Connor and Charlie Mallon

NOTORIOUS gang boss Brian Rattigan has been left devastated after being refused release from prison for the funeral of his brother, the Herald can reveal.

Gangland was on high alert amid fears that killer Rattigan might have attempted a last-minute bid for freedom to attend his brother's funeral.

The 31-year-old gang boss was left distraught after being refused leave to attend the funeral. 'King Ratt' had applied to the prison authorities to be allowed attend the funeral Mass of his older brother Jason - who died on Sunday.

The notorious killer - who is serving a life sentence - had his request rejected due to security fears. Jason Dunphy Rattigan passed away in St James's Hospital, Dublin.

His funeral was due to take place today at St James's Church in the city, with burial afterwards at Palmerstown cemetery.

He suffered from spina bifida and had been previously involved in a feud with his brother's rival gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.

Thompson is believed to have ordered a hit on Jason Rattigan - who narrowly avoided being shot.

Locked up

Gardai are aware of the major security operation that would be necessary if Brian Rattigan was granted permission to attend the funeral.

He is locked up in a maximum security unit in Portlaoise.

Rattigan is serving a life sentence for the stabbing in 2001 of drug dealer Declan Gavin - a murder that sparked the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud which has claimed up to 15 lives.

Sources said that 'King Ratt' had always been "very protective" of his older wheelchair- bound brother.

"Brian and Ritchie Rattigan were always very protective of Jason. Despite his disability he was still regarded as 'the big brother' and looked up to".

When the rival feuding gang shot up the family home in Grand Canal Bank where Jason lived with his mother Dinah back in 2005, it was seen by Brian Rattigan as having crossed the line. Shots were fired into the family home on July 22 and was carried out to show Brian Rattigan that his rivals could get to his immediate family.

He had already lost his brother Joey in another attack, one carried out in retaliation for the murder of Declan Gavin, the first victim of the feud, for which Brian is now serving a life sentence.

By this time in 2005 , six people had already died in the tit-for-tat shootings.

There followed a wave of retaliatory attacks. In follow-up incidents, the home of an elderly relative of "Fat Freddie" Thompson was attacked with gunfire.