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Armed officers monitor funeral of dissident republican Vincent Ryan

Published 08/03/2016

The coffin of dissident republican Vincent Ryan is carried into The Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede, Dublin
The coffin of dissident republican Vincent Ryan is carried into The Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede, Dublin
An armed Garda looks on as the coffin of dissident republican Vincent Ryan is carried into The Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede, Dublin
A Garda security operation at the funeral of dissident republican Vincent Ryan at Fingal Cemetery in Dublin

A massive security operation has surrounded the funeral of a dissident republican whose murdered brother was a Real IRA leader.

Vincent Ryan was gunned down on McKee Road in Finglas, north Dublin, over a week ago, four years on from the killing of his brother Alan in a feud with drugs gangs.

His coffin was draped in a Tricolour as it was carried shoulder high by pallbearers, including by some of his three surviving brothers, from the family home in Donaghmede.

The cortege was led by a lone piper and a large group of men wearing white shirts, black ties and black trousers as it was brought to the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Several hundred people attended the Mass while dozens of armed gardai closely monitored events outside and along the route from the Ryan family home and to Fingal Cemetery.

A group of motorcyclists revved their high-powered bikes outside the church as the cortege arrived.

There were no paramilitary trappings.

At the graveside dozens of heavily armed and uniformed gardai were positioned close to mourners while sniffer dogs and Garda vans fitted with CCTV cameras were also on duty.

Vinnie, as he was known, was 25. He was shot while sitting in a white Volkswagen Golf outside houses in Finglas where his girlfriend was with his baby daughter Phoenix, now just six weeks old.

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. We know we all must die, but most of us assume or at least hope that it will be when we are old. So when a young person dies suddenly and violently as Vincent has, it is a stark reminder that we should never take life for granted," he said.

Fr Corcoran said he was a non-smoker, non-drinker and never used drugs and described him as intelligent, witty and a prankster who valued friendship.

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

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

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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