Vinny Ryan (22) and his close pal Darragh Evans (23) enjoyed their first nights of freedom in over 13 months after being locked up in Portlaoise prison since September 2012.
The Special Criminal Court cleared both men of possession of an assault rifle and a handgun at Clonshaugh Walk, Coolock, on September 15, 2011 – the very same day in which drugs trafficker Michael 'Micka' Kelly was shot dead.
Kelly, nicknamed 'The Panda' by the media' had been in a deadly feud with Vinny Ryan's brother Alan after he refused to cash up cash to Ryan's Real IRA extortionist gang.
Senior sources have warned that Vinny Ryan's life is in grave danger from a number of different criminal elements.
"Vinny will need to be extremely careful – associates of 'Micka' Kelly want him dead as do the Coolock gang who shot dead his brother Alan in September last year.
"He also needs to watch out for the new IRA alliance – they have booted out a lot of his closest friends and associates as well as his older brothers Anthony and Dermot after a cash row.
"So Vinny needs to watch out on lots of fronts – the entire crime landscape in the city has changed since his brother Alan was shot dead," a source explained.
Yesterday, the non-jury court ruled that there was an insufficient evidential basis from which a jury properly directed could find Vincent Ryan and his co-accused Darragh Evans were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Both men had pleaded not guilty to the possession of an AKM assault rifle and Webley-make revolver MkV1 at Clonshaugh Walk, Coolock, Dublin 17 on September 15, 2011.
The court heard that the Garda investigation into the offence began after an incident involving the discharging of a firearm on Marsfield Avenue in Clongriffin on September 15, 2011.
This was the daylight execution of 'Micka' Kelly.
Gardai who searched a Saab 95 car recovered a short distance away from Marsfield Avenue found an AKM assault rifle, an AK-47 style ammunition magazine, a Webley revolver and a Nike bag containing a foil lid from a Pringles crisp container.
Mr Justice Butler said the DNA evidence presented allowed for a number of different reasonable findings as to how it got on the items, including that they were handled by the accused or got there by secondary, tertiary or even fourth-hand transfer.