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Members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement at their Easter commemoration in Derry this year. Niall Carson/PA Wire
alan ryan

Huge security operation in place in Donaghmede ahead of dissident march

Crash barriers are being placed along the expected route from the family home to the graveside of crime boss Alan Ryan.

HUNDREDS OF GARDAÍ are expected to be on duty or on call this afternoon in the Donaghmede/Balgriffin area of Dublin ahead of a ceremony to mark the anniversary of Real IRA crime boss Alan Ryan.

The 31-year-old was shot dead in a housing estate in Clongriffin on 3 September last year.

Crash barriers were left stacked in place along the expected route last evening ahead of the march. It’s not known how many will be at the event, but gardaí are preparing for a large turn-out, with dissident figures from around the country expected to attend.

A garda liaison has been in contact with the Ryan family in recent weeks, and the march will begin at the family home in Grange Abbey, before proceeding to Balgriffin’s Fingal Cemetery.

The operation is being coordinated by officers from Coolock.  A garda spokesperson told that the force would ensure there are “sufficient resources to deal with any public order offences”.

There was outrage in the area last year after men and women dressed in paramilitary gear fired a volley of shots over the convicted criminal’s coffin as it was being removed from the family home. Justice Minister Alan Shatter later described the display as “reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable”.

Brian McDowell, a Labour councillor for Donaghmede, said gardaí had to be sensitive and “allow the family to grieve for their child”, but he said he was confident appropriate action would be taken “if there’s any display similar to what happened last year”.

He said many locals were satisfied with the approach taken by officers to the events before Ryan’s funeral.

Prominent dissident Colin Duffy – who was acquitted on charges of murder over the 2009 Massereene Barracks shootings — made the graveside oration at Balgriffin last year.

Read: Shatter slams ‘reprehensible’ events at Alan Ryan funeral >

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