14 people arrested in dawn raids after gunfire at Real IRA funeral

A NUMBER of arrests were made this morning over a Real IRA show of strength at the funeral of one of its key figures in the Irish Republic.

• 13 men and one woman arrested in dawn raids across Ireland

• Group fired shots over coffin at funeral of key Real IRA figure

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• Gardai say raids related to firearm possession and dissident activity

A group of men dressed in combat gear fired a volley of shots over the coffin of murdered Alan Ryan on Saturday in Dublin.

In follow-up operations, gardai carried out a series of raids on homes across Co Dublin and neighbouring counties from 6am this morning.

A garda spokesman said the operation is ongoing and while a number of arrests have been made, further arrests cannot be ruled out.

Ryan was head of a Real IRA faction in Dublin and had been linked to extortion rackets.

The 32-year-old was murdered in broad daylight when a gunman shot him several times in the grounds of an apartment complex in Clongriffin, north Dublin, on Monday September 3.

Scores of dissident republican supporters attended the funeral in Dublin.

Gardai said 14 arrests were made in the first two hours of the operation - 13 men and one woman.

The raids focused on homes in Dublin, Kildare and Meath.

Operation Ambience was launched by gardai after a number of masked men fired shots over Ryan’s tricolour-draped coffin on Grange Abbey Drive.

Mourners attempted to shield the gunmen from onlooking gardai and cameras as they changed out of combat gear and masks in a van at the house.

Gardai said the raids were in response to possession and discharge of firearms and dissident republican activity.

The suspects were detained at a number of garda stations in Dublin and Meath under section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939.

More than 200 gardai, including members of the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, local detectives and uniformed officers and the Garda Dog Unit, were involved in the morning raids.