By Ken Foy
The murder of Real IRA boss Alan Ryan in September 2012, was perhaps the most significant gangland killing of the past decade, as the ramifications of the savage gun slaying are still being felt today.
At the time he was shot dead in broad daylight in a north Dublin suburban street, Ryan was the major player in dissident republicanism in the capital and was also embroiled in a number of bitter feuds with dangerous criminal gangs.
However, his various campaigns of extortion against the crime gangs meant that his life was in grave danger and he had been officially warned by gardai a number of times before he was finally gunned down around 3.30pm on September 3.
His fundraising’ activities and violent tactics, combined with his high-profile in the media, had been causing concern for some Real IRA bosses in the North who were worried that Ryan had become too powerful and a potential liability to the reputation of dissident republicanism.
Ryan’s mob came to public attention in a major way in 2010, when they were involved in a bitter feud with a veteran Ballyfermot criminal who has made millions of euro from smuggling cigarettes into Ireland.