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Former Real IRA boss shot dead in ambush

A former Real IRA boss has been murdered in Cork city.

Aidan O'Driscoll, 37, was shot a number of times in an ambush on Great William O'Brien Street in the Blackpool area of the city at around 5pm.

O'Driscoll, from Ballyvolane in north Cork, was taken to Cork University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

It is understood he may have fallen victim to a feud within dissident republicanism.

O'Driscoll was a one-time ally of Real IRA chief Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in Dublin in 2012.

It is understood he had not been active in the Real IRA for some time, having been apparently expelled from the renegade organisation.

Nicknamed the 'Beast', the republican was shot in the leg in a so-called punishment attack carried out by former republican allies in 2013.

A decade ago, O'Driscoll was convicted of Real IRA membership and served three years in prison. The conviction was later quashed on a technicality.

Following Wednesday evening's shooting, gardai found two partially burnt out vehicles - at Redemption Road, Blackpool and at Killeens, Co Cork.

Sinn Fein councillor for Cork city Chris O'Leary described the killing as "horrific".

"A man has lost his life and other people could have been caught up in this attack," he said.

"Blackpool is a very busy place and a very tight community. This took place near where a lot of elderly people live. Children also play in this area. People are shocked.

"I would appeal for people to assist the gardai so those involved can be put before the courts."

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