Friday 21 September 2018

Gardai to keep watch as wreaths laid for slain RIRA chief

Shooting victim Alan Ryan
Shooting victim Alan Ryan

A discreet garda presence is expected at Fingal Cemetery in Balgriffin on Sunday when family and friends of slain terror chief Alan Ryan will gather for a wreath-laying ceremony.

No-one has ever been charged with the Real IRA figure's murder, which was one of the most high-profile gangland killings in the State's history.

Gardai believe that Ryan's murder in 2012 was organised by the 'Mr Big' crime gang after months of tension between the mob and Ryan's dissident republican faction.

Ryan was shot dead as he walked with friends in Grange Lodge Avenue, Clongriffin, north Dublin, on the afternoon of September 3, 2012.

Ryan's paramilitary-style funeral was interpreted as a show of force by the Real IRA and sparked huge controversy.

In September 2013, his grave was desecrated, heightening tensions ahead of a memorial march to mark the first anniversary of his murder, which ultimately passed off peacefully.

The Herald previously revealed that an IRA gang had a car ready to be used to kill the Coolock gangster who is suspected of organising the murder, but the plot has never been put into action.

Graffiti

In 2014, blood-red graffiti reading "Alan Ryan rot in hell" was daubed on the Holy Trinity Church in Donaghmede.

The garda investigation into Ryan's murder is still active and it is understood that a file is almost ready to be sent to the DPP.

At the latest adjourned inquest hearing into the case, David Thompson, the solicitor representing Ryan's family, said it was "simply unacceptable" that it had taken gardai so long to complete the file.

At the time of his murder, Ryan was a major target for the garda's Special Detective Unit.

He was jailed for four years in 2001 for his role in a dissident republican training camp in Co Meath in 1999.

Ryan was also given a separate three-year prison sentence after being caught with a gun at his north Dublin home in 1998.

Ryan appeared before Dublin District Court in May 2011 where he and some of his closest associates were charged with threatening and making demands on a publican, ordering him to stop trading within 24 hours.

By the time that it came for those charges to be dealt with, Ryan was dead and the case against the other co-accused later collapsed.

It was also in May 2011 that Ryan was involved in tense protests during Queen Elizabeth's historic visit to Dublin.

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