There has been a shocked reaction among republicans in Dublin after a second member of the Ryan family was shot dead in Dublin by a crime gang.
Vinny Ryan (pictured above) died after being targeted by the same gand who killed his brother Alan, also a senior figure on the Real IRA, in September 2012. His car was riddled with bullets on McKee Road in Finglas.
There were distressing scenes on Monday as his distraught partner cradled him in her arms just moments after he was shot. She and the couple’s five-week-old baby could also have died if they had been in the car when the gunman fired over a dozen shots from an automatic pistol.
The crimelord nicknamed ‘Mr Big’ has been accused of ordering the attack.
Both of the Ryan brothers were prominent members of the armed group’s vigilante attempts to confront the runaway Dublin underground, which includes some of the most dangerous criminals in Europe.
Antoin O’Hara, a former H-Block blanketman, paid tribute to his friend and accused the media of continuing a smear campaign against the Ryan family. He said both brothers had became members of Oglaigh na hEireann (IRA) to fight to achieve freedom for the 32 counties of Ireland.
“As they planned and trained, they seen the devastation that drugs were playing on the youth of Dublin,” he said.
“Rather than sit idly by, they tried to stop it. That brought them into conflict with those that supply and peddle the drugs. Their action was not for personal gain, not to extort money from anyone - an unselfish attempt to help their community.
“As casualties started to appear the establishment went into to overdrive to demonise. Because they have been doing it for the past 80 years they continue not to give any credit to republicans that oppose the status quo - especially republican socialists.”
He said there had been an attempt to criminalise the family. “Then the journalists jumping on the bandwagon and falling over themselves to embrace and enhance the state-fed lie. That pertains today - is there not any journalist that has the decency or conviction to investigate the lie machine from the Gardai?”
There are fears that the violence could continue. On Wednesday a Dublin newspaper said it had received a coded telephone call from someone connected to the vigilante group known as ‘Action Against Drugs’, who described the murders of the Ryan brothers as a “declaration of war”.
The caller, whose codeword could not be verified, said: “We have now put all units on war footing and all known drug dealers and criminal elements are now considered legitimate targets from midnight tonight.”
Last August, ‘Action Against Drugs’ claimed responsibility for the murder in Belfast of Kevin McGuigan, who had himself been the main suspect in the murder of prominent Provisional IRA figure Jock Davison three months earlier. This is the first time that the organisation, believed to include former PIRA Volunteers, has made threats against drug dealers in Dublin.
It has also been reported that heavily-armed Gardai are prepared to use violence to prevent Mr Ryan from receiving an IRA funeral. Four years ago, there was a hysterical reaction in the political establishment when his brother’s lengthy funeral procession was interpreted as a ‘show of strength’ for the Real IRA.
The funeral will take place next Tuesday morning at 9.50am in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede. He will then be buried in Fingal Cemetery.