Gardai probe gangster's link to murder of Vinnie Ryan
DETECTIVES investigating the murder of former New IRA member Vinnie Ryan are probing links between associates of Tallaght gangster Paul Rice and the killing.
One of the suspects arrested by gardai in connection with the murder is a known associate of Rice from the Ballyfermot area of south Dublin.
It is understood gardai are looking into claims that there was a dispute between associates of Rice and Ryan but sources say it forms only one part of a complicated investigation.
They have spoken to several pals of Ryan to establish if they had any knowledge of the dispute.
The investigation has already shown the complicated links in Dublin's gangland scene.
A former associate of Eamon 'the Don' Dunne from Finglas in north Dublin has been arrested and gardai believe he was one of the men directly involved in the murder.
A Ballyfermot man with links to Rice was also arrested as was a security consultant who provides security systems to some of Ireland's most well-known criminals.
Rice also has links to the north Dublin criminal known as Mr Big, who was feuding with Ryan before his death.
Gardai have seized a number of items including walkie talkies, a GPS tracking device and phones as part of the investigation.
A vehicle linked to a well-known drug dealing thug from north Dublin, who has joined up with an INLA faction, has formed part of the Ryan murder investigation probe but he was not arrested as part of the investigation.
Both Rice and some former Dunne associates are on good terms with the INLA faction.
Rice told Alan Ryan's New IRA crew to 'f*** off' when they demanded protection money off him a number of years ago.
However, he is understood to have paid money to the INLA gang around the same time and was previously stopped in a car with INLA man Paul 'Jaws' Kelly, who was believed to be providing protection to him.
There is no indictaion that the INLA were invovled in the hit but the faction has been causing problems in Dublin in recent times.
The gang makes its money primarily through extortion, debt collecting and protection rackets.
The faction has been growing in strength in recent times despite their leader being on remand in prison in recent months.
He cannot be named as he is currently awaiting trial for serious offences.