| 13.6°C Dublin

RIRA man had phone picture of Alan Ryan gun murder suspect

A REAL IRA young gun was caught with a picture of a suspect for the murder of Alan Ryan on his phone. The man, arrested after gardai discovered a pipe bomb factory, has boasted that he will avenge the RIRA terror boss's killing.

Gardai have now discovered that he had a picture of a prominent rival on his mobile phone and had access to weapons, including guns and bombs.

“He is telling anybody who will listen that he is going to shoot him,” said a source. The man, who is in his 20s, was taken into custody following an intelligence-led operation at a halting site near Coolock on Thursday.

During that raid, officers seized two viable pipe bomb, four shotguns and a significant quantity of ammunition.

A source explained: "The man has been involved in extortion and pipe bomb attacks against other Travellers for a couple of years.

"But he wants to be a bigger player. He has been going around saying he will avenge Alan Ryan's murder. He has a picture of one of these suspects on his phone."

He is well-known to gardai and has been arrested several times in the past on suspicion of being involved in dissident activities.


The discovery of the mobile phone picture is of particular concern for gardai who are desperately trying to prevent any retaliation attacks in the wake of Ryan's death.

Just over a week ago the man was given a formal warning by officers that his life is under threat.

Ryan (32) was shot dead in broad daylight as he walked in Clongriffin on the Northside on Monday, September 3.

He had built up a fearsome underworld reputation for extorting money from some of Ireland's most dangerous drugs gangs. His associates have drawn up a list of potential hitmen who they believe were behind the slaying and have vowed revenge.

Since his paramilitary-style funeral, gardai have launched a major clampdown on dissident activities.

The most recent display of strength was at a site near the junction of the N32 and the Malahide Road in the Northern Cross area last Thursday.

The operation included officers from the Dublin North division, backed up by personnel from the Special Branch, the Emergency Response Unit, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations and air-support units. Detectives have targeted the site at Northern Close at least three other times in the past year.

Officers decided to move on the site again after a number of incidents in the Coolock and Darndale areas in recent weeks.

Two pipe bombs were left at houses, while shots were fired into a third home.

Gardai believe that underworld figures have been using the site to store pipe bombs which are then sold to a variety of criminal factions around the city, including the Real IRA.