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Gardai quiz two over murder of RIRA boss Ryan

TWO suspects being questioned about the murder of Real IRA boss Alan Ryan (32) are not believed to be directly involved.

The duo, who both remain in garda custody, were picked up in raids on the capital's northside yesterday and sources have revealed that neither man is actually suspected of murder.

One is a 38-year-old from Dublin's north inner city who has a number of previous convictions but none for gang- related offences.

However he is well known to gardai and has family links to one of the criminals who is believed to be involved in organising last month's hit.

This Darndale criminal had weapons stolen from him by Ryan's RIRA crew in August and fled Ireland in the aftermath of the murder.


The other man, who is in his late 20s, is understood to be from the Coolock area.

Both men have links to the gang controlled by 'Mr Big', the major criminal who was involved in a bitter dispute with the Real IRA faction ever since he assaulted one of their associates in a north Dublin nightclub in January.

Mr Big -- who comes from a respectable middle-class background and is well educated -- has been striking fear into the underworld for years. He controls a vast patch of drug territory stretching from Clontarf up to Drogheda, Co Louth.

The gang boss fled Ireland in March because of his feud with the Real IRA, but when Ryan continued to intimidate other major north Dublin criminals, he had his chance to organise Ryan's murder.

The Herald has previously disclosed the structure of Mr Big's secretive organisation, which consists of him at the head of the mob, with a veteran criminal now based in Co Cavan who introduced Tiger kidnappings to Ireland acting as his adviser.

Then he has five lieutenants who look after the daily operations of the gang, as well as four thugs who carry out gun and pipebomb attacks for him.

Most of these criminals are now outside the country after Ryan's murder.

Dissident republican Ryan was shot dead at Grange Lodge Avenue, Clongriffin, north Dublin, on September 3. He was killed close to his home when two gunmen opened fire on him and one of his associates.

A car carrying what gardai believe were two gunmen pulled up and at least one passenger got out and started firing at Ryan and his friend Aaron Nealis, who was shot in the leg.