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Funeral prompts dissident crackdown

A dissident republican paramilitary-style funeral has prompted garda to announce a crackdown on terrorist groups such as the Real IRA.

The move follows the funeral last week of Dublin RIRA chief Alan Ryan, whose burial saw masked men and a volley of gunshots, similar to the Provisional IRA funerals in the North during the height of the Troubles.

Ryan (32) was shot dead in what is believed to be a gangland hit in North Dublin on Monday of last week.

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Gardai are investigating whether the slaying was connected to a feud with city drug dealers.

His funeral was attended by hundreds of supporters, many thought to be from north of the border, and officers mingled with the crowd in a bid to identify known dissident republicans ahead of possible planned raids.

The issue will likely see strong co-operation between gardai and the PSNI who both wish to cripple anti-Good Friday Agreement republican groups like the RIRA, which was responsible for the worst single terror incident in the recent Troubles - the Omagh bomb in August 1998, which left 29 dead.

A Garda source told reporters that officers knew a volley of shots would be fired over Ryan's coffin as it left his Donaghmede family home, but decided not to interfere for the sake of public order at the scene.

"It would have backfired on us and the funeral could have disintegrated into a messy riot situation, something we did not want to happen for the sake of his family," he said.

Prominent Armagh dissident, Colin Duffy, told mourners during the funeral Mass: "He was a brave Irish republican and fearless IRA volunteer who was dedicated to fighting foreign interference in our country."