ALAN SHATTER: “INACCETTABILI I FUNERALI DI RYAN”
Alan Shatter condemns events at Real IRA man Alan Ryan funeral (BBC News Europe)
The Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter has described a show of strength by the Real IRA at the funeral of a dissident republican in Dublin as “reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable”.
Alan Ryan was murdered in the city last week.
Shots were fired over the coffin as it left his home on Saturday, and the funeral was accompanied by masked men and women.
Irish police are investigating the events.
In a statement, Mr Shatter said: “I recognise fully the immediate difficulties which face An Garda Síochána when people take advantage of a funeral to behave in this fashion.
“But the Garda commissioner has assured me that they are pursuing rigorously any breaches of the law which took place.
“The gardai, together with their colleagues in Northern Ireland, will continue to take every action open to them to deal with the activities of members of these groups, whether they are engaging in terrorism or organised crime.”
Irish Daily Mirror crime reporter Cathal McMahon said Mr Ryan had received a full republican paramilitary funeral.
“When it was leaving the house a volley of at least three shots were fired over the coffin before it was moved in a a full paramilitary-style parade to a nearby church,” he said.
“There appeared to have be seven masked men and women wearing full military regalia accompanying the coffin to the church, and then onwards to the graveyard afterwards.
“It appears to be the firing of the shots that has most angered politicians with opposition politicians calling for a major investigation and the justice minister Alan Shatter said Gardai are going to pursue this investigation and attempt to arrest all those involved in this parade.”
He said the funeral was one of the largest police operations he had ever seen or experienced.
“There were dozens of police mixing with the crowd and there was also a very visible police presence with riot police waiting nearby – it appeared they watched on as this was happening,” he said.
“I guess the approach was not to engage with these people during the funeral as they felt tensions could have simmered out of control.
“There is no doubt that those attending the funeral would have engaged with police had they intervened at that time so the decision was made to allow it to pass and then carry out investigations afterwards.”
A man in his late 40s who was arrested by police following Mr Ryan’s murder was released without charge on Saturday.
Alan Ryan, 32, was shot several times at Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin on Monday afternoon. A second man was also shot and sustained leg injuries.
In 2000, Ryan had been jailed over the discovery of a Real IRA training camp at Stamullen, County Meath.
RTE crime correspondent Paul Reynolds said the Dubliner was “very well known in criminal and republican circles both north and south of the border”.