Real IRA

Real IRA
Dissident republicans

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Real IRA Dublin, dissident republicans, Dublin drug crime

Alan Ryan (30) was arrested and quizzed last week about the brutal murder of Sean Winters outside Portmarnock DART station Sunday 12th September 2010.

He was one of 10 people lifted by detectives investigating the gangland-style execution. He was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

It is believed Winters was shot by a Real IRA terror gang waging war with crime gangs in Dublin.

The group is also suspected of the attempted hits on gangland godfather Eamon Kelly (63) last Saturday and his associate Brian O'Reilly (41) in August.

The gang, which is viewed as criminal rather than political, is trading on the name of the Real IRA to demand money from drug dealers across Dublin.

Gardai are investigating claims that criminals have come together to take out the gang.

A group calling themselves the Criminal Action Force contacted a newspaper to claim responsibility for the murder of dissident-linked hitman Daniel Gaynor in Finglas over the summer, and a shooting at the Player's Lounge pub where three innocent men were hit in a case of mistaken identity.


The group claimed the Real IRA has extorted €425,000 from criminals in the past year.

They also said they have drawn up a hit-list of 12 Real IRA members. It is understood criminals from Dublin's north-side are among the most eager to see the demise of the dissident group.
A number of Alan Ryan's associates were arrested in the Winters' probe.

A 31-year-old who is regularly spotted in the company of Ryan and his brother Anthony (34) was also lifted. The man is a director of a security firm and a motor business.

Anthony Ryan has a security license from the Private Security Authority, despite being convicted in connection with terrorist offences. He was not among the 10 people arrested this week.

Others arrested in last week's swoop also have security licenses with the PSA but do not have serious convictions.

The Ryan brothers were arrested when gardai swooped on a Real IRA training camp in Meath 11 years ago. The Ryans were jailed for three years each after the raid.

Meanwhile, another one of the men arrested during the week is a kickboxer in his fifties originally from Kilmore but living in Clare

Hall area in north Dublin.

His 24-year-old daughter was also arrested. Two of his sons, 21 and 28, were also lifted as part of the operation.

Two other men, aged 23 and 24 from Clare Hall and Raheny, and a woman (22) from Donore Avenue - who is dating one of the gang leaders - were also arrested. Other members of the gang who were not picked up include two brothers from Summerhill in Dublin's north inner city.

Those arrested were all released from custody on Tuesday night and a file is being prepared for the DPP. Winters, originally from Donaghmede, was a drug dealer who was part of a major gang operating in an area of Dublin's north-side, stretching from Baldoyle to Coolock.


He was the prime suspect in the murder of Anthony Jenkinson (28), who was beaten to death in St Anne's Park, Raheny, in April 2001 in a dispute over drug money.

His cousin Noel Deans was shot dead in Coolock in January and he had spoken about getting revenge for that killing.
The Real IRA gang was among the suspects in that killing. It is also understood that Winters developed a bad drug habit in recent times and tried to take his own life on two occasions.

He was an associate of former gang leader David 'Babyface' Lindsay (38) and Alan Napper (39) who are missing presumed dead.

Lindsay had become involved in a dispute with the gang boss known as The Panda. He planned to have his rival murdered but was double-crossed by the hit-man. Traces of blood belonging to Lindsay and Napper were discovered in a house in Co Down but their bodies have yet to be found.

Criminals already tried to take out members of the renegade Real IRA gang at the Player's Lounge Pub in Fairview over the summer, but three innocent people were shot instead.

One of the gang who had been in the pub at the time had been outside for a cigarette but returned inside just before a gunman opened fire on innocent doorman Wayne Barrett in a case of mistaken identity.

Part of a bullet is lodged in his brain and he is unlikely to ever recover from his injuries. Two customers were also injured in the indiscriminate attack.

That shooting, which was claimed by the shadowy CAF last week, was believed to be linked to the death of an armed robber in Dublin last year.

Gareth Molloy was shot dead by gardai during an attempted raid. He only took part in the raid to raise money to pay compensation to a man connected to dissidents.

Molloy bit part of the ear off an associate of the Ryan brothers during a fight in the Player's Lounge around St Patrick's Day last year.

But the bite victim informed Molloy that he had to pay €6,000 in compensation or he would be killed for the attack. It was this demand that led to him taking part in a robbery in Lucan in May last year where he was shot by gardai after firing first and ignoring calls to put down his weapon. His associates vowed revenge.

The attack on Daniel Gaynor was revenge for the shooting of Collie Owens in Finglas in July. Gaynor was the hitman in the Owens murder, which may have been ordered by the Real IRA.

As well as being suspected of attacks on Eamon Kelly and Brian O'Reilly, the gang is also understood to have targeted two notorious criminals from Finglas.

The gang called to their mother's home over the summer in a move which infuriated the pair who were not in the house at the time.

Other associates of The Panda are involved in a separate feud which claimed three lives last year. David 'Fred' Lynch (26), Tommy Joyce (20) and John 'BJ' Clarke (21) were murdered in separate attacks linked to the feud.

Clarke's brother Jamie (22) was targeted in an assassination attempt in Coolock in the early hours of Friday morning.

The father-of-one was lucky to escape with his life after a gunman fired a number of shots at him outside a pal's house on Adare Road around 1.30am, hitting him in the leg.


He was talking to John Paul Brennan outside the house where a party was being held when the gunman approached and fired at least eight shots, one hitting Clarke in the leg.

A 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the shooting in the area shortly after the incident. He was held at Ballymun Garda Station. Clarke has not made a complaint about the attack.

Brennan, who was not injured in the attack, was himself targeted in a gun attack in Kinsealy in January 2009.
There is no evidence to suggest the attack on Clarke is linked to Winters' murder.


Since it began reporting on the activities of terrorist groups in Ireland in 2003, the Independent Monitoring Commission has tracked the activities of the self-styled 'dissident' terror groups such as the 'Real' IRA and the 'Continuity' IRA.
In all its reports in the last few years, the Commission has repeated that the 'dissidents' are heavily involved in crime, primarily tiger kidnapping, armed robbery, extortion and smuggling. In its 21st report, issued earlier this year, the Independent Monitoring Commission also said the 'Continuity' IRA was involved in "brothel keeping".
Gardai in Dublin now see these groups as centrally involved in organised crime, including the murders of ordinary criminals who have refused to pay their extortion demands or who have otherwise crossed them.
Sean Winters, the 42-year-old north Dublin drug dealer who was shot dead as he walked along Station Road in Portmarnock last Sunday night is, ostensibly, a victim of republican gunmen. There was no political motivation whatsoever in his murder by the 'Continuity' IRA. He was murdered as part of a turf war over the distribution and sale of drugs in north Dublin.
The dissidents have completed the journey by republicans in Ireland from self-sacrificing idealists to pure criminals, in the same way that the republican revolutionaries of mid-19th Century Italy moved from the ideals of Guiseppe Garibaldi to the entirely criminal mafioso.
The same journey in Ireland began in the dying days of the Provisional IRA. Its members, particularly the Dublin-based brigade, moved from vigilantism against drug dealers to accepting bribes from particular drug gangs and then to carrying out assassinations of rivals to their dealers. Within a decade of Sinn Fein and the IRA leading marches of Concerned Parents Against Drugs to the homes of heroin dealers, the same people were heavily involved in the drug industry while still trading under the name of the Provisional IRA.
The Provos shot dead Joseph Foran, 38, a notorious gangster and heroin dealer, in Finglas in February 2000, not because of his involvement in the drug trade but because he refused to pay their extortion demands. Two months later, they shot dead Thomas Byrne, 41, an innocent man from the north inner city who had stood up to one of the senior Dublin IRA men who was heavily involved in hijacking goods containers from Dublin Docks.
In July 2001, the Dublin IRA shot dead Seamus 'Shavo' Hogan, 40, in south Dublin, passing the murder off as part of its campaign to rid Dublin of career criminals and drug traffickers. Hogan was, in fact, shot because he refused to pay protection and was involved in disputes with another south-side drug gang that was paying money to the IRA.
Joseph Cummins, 48, another career criminal, was shot dead in Tallaght in December 2001 because he too refused to pay up.
While the IRA was murdering to order in Dublin, the other republican terror group, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), which had been the paramilitary wing of the Republican Socialist Party, went headlong into the drug trade and became involved in feuding with Dublin gangs which it sought to control. Over the last decade, the memberships of both organisations in Dublin, and to a considerable degree in Northern Ireland, have merged.
The major shift from token republicanism for the IRA and INLA came in 2005 when the IRA announced the end of its 'armed campaign' and then finally announced its disbandment in 2008.
In response to the disbandment, the dissidents began moving into the crime territory which the Provisional IRA had begun to inhabit. Former Provisional IRA criminals, left with no name to claim, began firstly associating with and then adopting the mantles of the 'Real' and 'Continuity' IRAs. The evolution from the time of the 1981 Maze hunger strikes, when IRA men were prepared to die for the 'cause', to pure criminality has been completed.
Bernard Dempsey, 53, a former senior Provisional IRA man in Dublin and leader of the Concerned Parents Against Drugs in the south inner city in the Eighties, is serving life imprisonment for the murder of innocent James Curran in the Green Lizard Pub in Francis Street in 2005. Dempsey shot his victim dead when Curran confronted Dempsey after he watched him accepting an envelope full of cash from a notorious south city drug gang.
Dempsey transferred his allegiances to the 'Real' IRA and is now serving his sentence in its wing of Portlaoise Prison. His main former Provisional IRA associates in south Dublin now term themselves 'Real' IRA also. They have close links with the drug syndicate that has grown around the gang headed by the expatriate criminal Freddie Thompson.
On the north side of the Liffey, the former Provisionals are also in league with the dissidents and with the drug gangs. The former IRA gang which assassinated another innocent Dubliner, Joseph Rafferty, 28, in April 2004, is involved in the northside feuding that has been running for the past four years since the imprisonment for life of Christy Griffin for the rape of his partner's young daughter. Former IRA and INLA members are also involved in the latest round of feuding which started with the murder of gang boss Eamon Dunne, shot dead at the Fassaugh House pub in Cabra in April.
Gardai believe he was murdered by members of his own gang who thought he was plotting to kill them. The gang has split and the resulting turf war has drawn in the dissidents. So far there have been two deaths and four people seriously injured.
One of the most remarkable changes to have taken place among the republicans is that the new generation are drug takers as well as dealers. Last month witnesses told gardai that the young gunman who opened fire, with a gun in each hand, on the Players Lounge pub in Fairview, seriously injuring the innocent doorman and two customers, was "high as a kite".
As is almost universal with drug gangs, the dissidents are prone to splitting and feuding. There are dissident elements on both sides in the current feud in north Dublin.
Gardai say that the names 'Continuity' and 'Real' are apparently interchangeable. The group involved in the assassination of Sean Winters last week is currently using the name 'Continuity', but five years ago it was terming itself 'Real' and part of the group led by the founder of the Real IRA, Michael McKevitt.
Prisoners on the dissident wing in Portlaoise Prison regularly fall out with each other. Last year one of the prisoners who had been the 'officer commanding' on the Real IRA landing was apparently expelled amid accusations of cocaine dealing. The 'republicans' are believed to be the main source of drugs and mobile phones coming into the jail for ordinary prisoners.
The dissidents were also behind the campaign of arson and grenade attacks on head shops. They carried out the attacks, gardai believe, as part of their 'protection' duties for the drug dealers.
Outside Dublin, the same patterns have emerged. In Derry and the north-west, they have been carrying out a campaign of shooting drug dealers who refuse to pay them protection. In Newry and the Border area, where some of the 'Real' IRA now term themselves 'Republican Action Against Drugs', local people say the young members are mainly heavy drug users. One 'Continuity' group with members in the Dundalk, Dublin and Limerick areas is heavily involved in prostitution and the trafficking of young women from Eastern Europe where they have established links with cigarette gangs.
In Dublin last week, one Continuity group issued a statement disavowing those (former 'Real' IRA now terming themselves 'Continuity') members responsible for the murder of Sean Winters.
Senior Garda sources say it seems unlikely that the downward drift into criminality will be reversed. The exposure of the Provisional IRA's drift into crime in Dublin was one of the main reasons for the erosion of Sinn Fein's electoral base in traditional working-class areas. The dissidents do not have any public support and no political wing or electoral base on which to build a political movement. Without this, they have become criminal groups merging with ordinary criminal gangs and being drawn into their feuds.

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