TWO of slain RIRA terror chief Alan Ryan's brothers have been kicked out of the organisation by the new leadership in a bitter cash dispute, senior sources say.
Anthony and Dermot Ryan, along with two feared criminals who were considered major players in the group, have all been booted out – leading to fears of more infighting within the IRA, which has been plagued by internal strife since Ryan's murder last September.
The four men were called to what has been described as "a heated meeting" in the capital where they received their marching orders.
"There is a serious issue over cash – the new leadership of the IRA decided that these four individuals have to go," said a senior source.
"It is considered a major surprise because Alan Ryan is considered a true martyr to many involved in dissident republicanism, so to throw out his two brothers and two of his best pals is a major step."
Only last month Alan's brother, Dermot, addressed a republican gathering at a Derry cemetery after which a petrol bomb was thrown at a police Land Rover.
Dermot Ryan, a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, spoke on behalf of republican prisoners at the event in Derry.
Dermot's older brother Anthony (37) was previously jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to receiving training from others in the use of firearms at Stamullen, Co Meath.
The charges related to a major Garda investigation in October 1999, at a farm in Co Louth and at a field at Stamullen.
Garda officers found an assault rifle, a sub machine gun, a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition in a cellar.
Gardai said it was a training camp set up by a paramilitary organisation styling itself Oglaigh na hEireann.
Both Anthony and Dermot were arrested by gardai in a high-profile operation after Alan's paramilitary funeral in Donaghmede, but were later released without charge.
The other two men who have been kicked out cannot be named here for legal reasons but one of them was involved in a courtroom incident last year in which he heckled a man charged in connection with Alan Ryan's murder.
The other man has been warned numerous times that his life is under threat from criminal gangs and faces serious extortion-related charges.