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Ryan's pal gets the boot from dissident group

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DISSIDENT: Paul Stewart

DISSIDENT: Paul Stewart

Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan

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DISSIDENT: Paul Stewart

MANY of his closest pals and even Ryan's brother, Anthony, have been kicked out as an internal purge continues.

A senior source told The Herald that Stewart – who was previously warned by gardai about an active threat against his life from the gang who killed Ryan – may have been kicked out after getting in an altercation with another dissident republican from Ballymun on O' Connell Street last month.

STRANGE

The source explained: "It is being viewed as a bit of a strange development because Mr Stewart would not be considered a criminal but what is happening now is that almost everyone who was close to Alan Ryan is being forced to leave."

Sources have revealed that another dissident republican was also booted out of the organisation on the same day as Stewart.

It is understood that Sligo man Stewart will now become involved with a new republican pressure group calling itself Irish Republican Voice who plan to become involved in a number of protests in coming months.

Stewart and his pal Aaron Nealis – who was shot in the leg during the gun attack in which Ryan was murdered – were often spotted in Ryan's company in the months before he was murdered in Clongriffin, north Dublin last year.

In the aftermath of Ryan's murder, RTE was criticised by Justice Minister Alan Shatter for allowing Paul Stewart to speak at length on the Liveline programme.

During the programme, Mr Stewart bizarrely suggested that gardai had been complicit in the murder, claiming that officers had failed to arrive quickly at the scene, even though Ryan had been under constant surveillance.

Mr Stewart, a qualified teacher admitted to RTE Radio One's Liveline programme that he was a member of the 32CSM but denied being involved in any paramilitary activity.

He revealed that he had refused to help gardai who are investigating the murder.

"I have no real interest in talking to them about what happened. I don't see any real merit in (co-operating with the investigation).

"I don't think the gardai have any real interest in catching who did this," he said.

Mr Stewart claimed gardai had failed to respond quickly to the attack, suggesting it was almost 15 minutes before they arrived on the scene while some special branch members were seen "laughing and joking" about the murder.

SURVEILLANCE

He said that while the dead man had been "nearly under 24-hour surveillance" by detectives, his killer had "somehow managed to evade the gardai".

"Alan knew for some time that there were people out to get him.

"It's shocking that he was killed but it is not entirely surprising because the drugs gangs were so in fear of him," he said.

"I find it very hard to believe that gardai didn't know what was happening," he added.

kfoy@herald.ie


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