NewsCrime Desk

Big name believed to be behind Vinnie Ryan assassination

Big name believed to be behind Vinnie Ryan assassination
Vinny Ryan
Vinny Ryan

The brother of slain RIRA boss Alan Ryan was eating a roll in his car, having just dropped off his girlfriend and infant son, when he was blasted to death.

25-year-old Vinnie Ryan from Donaghmede in Dublin was shot in the head, neck and torso after he was ambushed by a hit squad shortly after 3pm.

Ryan, who worked as a barber, had been warned a number of times by gardai that his life was in danger.

Last November he was sliced from ear to ear as he left Dublin’s Rotunda hospital with his heavily pregnant girlfriend.

Ryan’s brother Alan was gunned down in September 2012 in a hit ordered by gangland kingpin Mr Big.

Sources say that gardai believe Mr Big may have been involved in yesterday’s hit on Vinnie Ryan.

The North Dublin drug trafficker was also behind the previous knife attack on Ryan outside the Rotunda Hospital.

It is believed that Vinnie killed Michael ‘The Panda’ Kelly with an AK 47 assault rifle in September 2011.

Michael ‘Panda’ Kelly

Dissident Ryan was well-known to gardai and was the chief suspect in the murder of Michael ‘The Panda’ Kelly

In October, 2013, Vinnie was cleared by the Special Criminal Court of charges of possession of an assault rifle and a hand gun at Clonshaugh Walk, Coolock on the 15th of September 2011, which was the same day that Kelly was blown away.

It is believed that Vinnie drove over Kelly’s head as he lay dying.

This killing set in motion a murderous tit-for-tat feud.

Alan Ryan’s number 2 ‘Fat’ Deccy Smith was gunned down in March 2014 as he dropped his young son off at crèche.

The 32-year-old was blasted in the face by a gang intent on wiping out all members of RIRA. Smith died a week after the incident in hospital.

Yesterday’s attack is believed to have been ordered by paranoid gang boss Mr Big, who suspected that the young republican may try to get revenge for Alan Ryan’s murder.

The getaway car used by the gunmen, a silver or grey VW Golf, was found burnt out in Co Kildare, late yesterday evening.

Sources said a machine pistol using 9mm bullets may have been used in the brutal shooting.

Ryan was rushed to the Mater Hospital with head and chest injuries. He was pronounced dead shortly after 9pm.

Superintendent John Quirke at Finglas Garda station, last night appealed for any witnesses in the McKee Road to come forward.

He also urged anyone who saw the silver/Grey VW Golf in the Finglas area before or after the shooting to contact the incident room set up in Finglas.

"A car has been found burnt out in the Victoria Bridge area on the Naas to Rathangan Road which may be involved in the shooting. It has been preserved for a technical examination," he said.

Witnesses to the attack described hearing what sounded like "machine-gun fire" with six or seven shots being discharged before a car sped away from the scene.

The incident took place near a secondary school, where classes had just finished for the day, and shocked students came across the aftermath of the gangland hit along the McKee Road.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, told the Irish Independent her young son came upon the scene on his way home from school.

"This guy was around here regularly in his car, so all the kids knew him. He was sitting in the car eating a roll. He was riddled, there were that many bullets on the street," she said.

"The guards were on the scene straight away. They were here within a matter of seconds."

Members of the elite Armed Response Unit patrolled the Finglas area in the aftermath of the shooting, while gardaí and detectives cordoned off a large portion of the road where the attack happened.

A friend of the Ryan family last night said close relatives had maintained a bedside vigil at the Mater Hospital through the afternoon and evening.