Belfast Telegraph

Armed Garda out in force at funeral for slain Real IRA leader's murdered brother

By Ed Carty

A massive security operation swung into place yesterday for the funeral of a slain dissident republican whose late brother was a real IRA leader.

Vincent Ryan was gunned down on McKee Road in Finglas, north Dublin, a week ago, four years after his brother Alan was killed in a feud with drug gangs.

Armed Garda were out in force as his coffin, draped in a Tricolour, was carried by mourners including his three brothers.

Several hundred people attended the Mass at the Church of the Holy Trinity as officers monitored events outside. While a group of motorcyclists revved their bikes outside the church as the cortege arrived, there were no paramilitary trappings.

Ryan (25) was shot while sitting in a white Volkswagen Golf waiting for his girlfriend and infant daughter Phoenix.

Fr Gerry Corcoran told mourners that to his family he was a loving son, partner, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

"It's so easy to take life for granted," he added. "We know we all must die, but most of us assume or at least hope that it will be when we are old. When a young person dies suddenly and violently, as Vincent has, it is a reminder we should never take life for granted." Fr Corcoran said Ryan did not smoke or drink and never used drugs, describing him as a witty prankster who valued friendship.

Ryan was acquitted of possession of an assault rifle and a handgun at the Special Criminal Court in October 2013. His family later claimed he had left dissident republicanism behind.

His brother Alan was a leading figure in the Real IRA and was embroiled in extortion rackets against drugs gangs in Dublin.

His funeral sparked widespread condemnation after a number of masked men fired a volley of shots over his coffin in a paramilitary display.

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