A Sligo man who was with Real IRA leader Alan Ryan when he was shot dead has said the attack was rapid and well planned.
Ryan (32) was shot at Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin, Dublin, close to his home on Monday last week just before 3.30pm.
Stewart (22), from Coolaney, Co Sligo, said he was walking on the
Dublin street with Ryan and fellow Coolaney man Aaron Neilis when they
were ambushed from behind by the killer. Mr Stewart is a member of the
32 County Sovereignty Movement.
While Ryan was hit in the upper
body and head up to six times and Mr Neilis wounded in the leg, Mr
Stewart said he managed to take cover and he was not wounded. It is
believed that Mr Neilis is recovering from his injuries.
Joe Duffy's Liveline
on RTÉ yesterday that the gunman had opened fire
indiscriminately and that both he and Mr Neilis were lucky to be alive.
think what it shows is the gunman had no concern for anyone who was a
bystander,” he said. “He was out to just kill whoever he could as well
as killing Alan . . . for the anti-drugs stance he had taken in the
According to Garda sources Ryan was actively involved
in extorting money from drugs gangs and gardaí believe it was his
clashes with these groups that led to his death.
Mr Stewart said, “Alan had nearly 24 hours surveillance and yet his killers somehow managed to lose the gardaí.
gardaí took an extraordinary long time to arrive on the scene and when
they did . . . they were mocking the fact that Alan had been killed.” He
believed the estimated 15 minutes that had elapsed before gardaí
arrived was too long.
Ryan was suspected of being a high-level
Real IRA member and was being investigated for involvement in an
extortion racket that saw dissident republicans force pub and business
owners to hand over cash."Unemployed"
The gang was also believed to have forced a number of pubs to shut down and had clashed with major criminals in north Dublin.
Mr Stewart described his friend as "unemployed", insisting he had been
targeted because of his involvement in anti-drugs campaigning in the
city. Although Ryan had served jail terms for IRA activities and gun
possession Mr Stewart said that he never knew that Ryan was a member of
the Real IRA, "I didn't know anything about that, he [Ryan] never spoke
about things like that he was a private person."
Mr Stewart, a
qualified teacher, yesterday admitted that he was a member of the 32CSM
but denied being involved in any paramilitary activity.
revealed that he had refused to help gardai who are investigating the
murder, which is believed to have been carried out by one of Dublin's
most notorious criminal gangs.
"I have no real interest in
talking to them about what happened. I don't see any real merit in
cooperating with the investigation. I don't think the gardai have any
real interest in catching who did this," he said.
Mr Stewart said he would not be involved in any reprisals.
defended a controversial show of paramilitary strength at Saturday's
funeral in Donaghmede when a number of shots were fired over Ryan's
Mr Stewart also confirmed that Ryan was a friend of high
profile Co Armagh republican Colin Duffy, who gave a graveside oration,
saying they knew each other from "republican political circles".
Garda spokesman said an investigation was continuing into the incident
at Donaghmede during which shots were discharged in the air.
family of Alan Ryan was also critical of gardaí who they said “stood
casually by” while press photographers took pictures of Ryan lying on
the ground at the scene of the shooting.
They said, in their
statement to RTÉ’s Prime Time
, that they had made a formal complaint to
the Garda Commissioner and to those media organisations that published
the pictures.Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook