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Armed garda raid in hunt for guns used at Ryan's funeral

Gardai have refused officially to confirm reports that a vehicle belonging to an on-call medic captured images of the hitman near the scene of the shooting at Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin on Monday of last week.

ARMED gardai carried out a raid just hours after shots were fired over terror boss Alan Ryan’s coffin, the Herald can reveal.

Associates of the murdered Real IRA chief were drinking in a north Dublin pub after his controversial paramilitary funeral.

A dozen members of the Special Detective Unit, backed up by local gardai, entered the Bottom of The Hill pub in Finglas on Saturday evening.

It is understood that detectives were hopeful of finding the guns used to fire shots over the gangster’s coffin as it left his home earlier that day.

Officers were “hassled and verbally abused” by some of Ryan's associates during the search for weapons.

It also emerged today that Ryan’s killers may have been caught on CCTV from a D–Doc medical van.However the Herald understands that good-quality pictures were taken of the heavily disguised gunman.

Senior gardai and the Minister for Justice have promised a major clampdown on the masked chiefs who led the funeral procession. Their first strike back was at a north Dublin pub in the immediate aftermath of Ryan's burial.

Told that some of the funeral party were drinking there, detectives arrived at the pub and searched a number of people. No weapons were found and no arrests were made; the armed officers left the scene within minutes.



Arrests

The raid happened just a few hours after Ryan was buried in Balgriffin Cemetery. During a tense funeral, three shots were fired over Ryan's coffin as it left his family home in Donaghmede.

There has been outrage in some quarters that gardai did not intervene despite being aware that a volley was fired at the property in Grange Abbey Drive.

Last night, a source close to Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "The gardai were in an impossible position, they could do nothing else. These individuals are being monitored extremely closely and there will be arrests."

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said yesterday that paramilitary activity could not be tolerated on the streets of the capital and where people were identified as having committed a criminal offence, they would be "brought to book".

Officers are now hopeful that CCTV may provide a breakthrough after reports that a doctor's car equipped with cameras was in the Clongriffin area at the time of the daylight shooting.

So far there has been just one arrest in the case: a Donaghmede man who was not directly linked to the murder.

Four north Dublin crime gangs are suspected of involvement in Ryan's murder. The Herald also disclosed that a senior member of one of these gangs -- a veteran Coolock gangster who is thought to have introduced Tiger kidnapping to Ireland -- has been boasting that his mob was actively involved.

The notorious middle-aged hood who mentored the so-called 'Mr Big' of Irish crime when he was a teenager told pals: "It was us that whacked him."

'Mr Big' has been based in Spain's Costa-Del-Crime since March because of threats from Ryan's gang after a feud began after an assault outside a north Dublin nightclub over Christmas.

kfoy@herald.ie


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