Tying the knot | 

Infamous Limerick gangster Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan splashes cash on lavish wedding

Rashers beamed with pride as mob-boss cousin Eds McCarthy stood beside him with the other groomsmen
‘Rashers’ Ryan and his new bride

‘Rashers’ Ryan and his new bride

Eamon Dillon

Infamous Limerick gangster Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan splashed out on a lavish wedding this week with his mob-boss cousin Eds McCarthy at his side.

Posing for a picture ahead of the ceremony in a light-coloured suit, Rashers beamed with pride as McCarthy stood beside him with the other groomsmen.

Another image shows Ryan with his new bride as they walk back down the aisle at a seaside setting as guests applaud.

Twenty years ago, it was feared Ryan and his brother Eddie Jnr would never see such a day after reports of their kidnap in Limerick city.

They had been walking along the street in January 2003 with their friend Christopher 'Smokie' Costello when the two brothers were bundled into a car at gunpoint.

Their mother, Mary, whose husband Eddie Snr had previously been shot dead, feared for the worst as she pleaded in the national media for their safe return.

A massive Garda search operation was put into place in a bid to find the then teenage boys.

Brothers Kieran and Eddie Ryan with their mother Mary after their kidnapping

Brothers Kieran and Eddie Ryan with their mother Mary after their kidnapping

The murder of their father Eddie Snr at the Moose Bar in November 2000 is seen as the killing that sparked a decade-long murderous underworld feud in the city.

A week after their apparent abduction, the pair walked into Portlaoise Garda Station just hours after gang boss Kieran Keane had been shot dead.

Keane is the man suspected of being the gunman who had shot their father three years previously.

Sources have since suggested that Keane and his nephew Owen Treacy, who managed to escape despite multiple stabs wounds, had been lured to the scene to see the Ryan brothers shot dead.

The infamous Dundon bothers are said to have set up the kidnap for Keane, who feared Eddie Snr's sons would seek to avenge his murder, but instead double-crossed him.

The pair returned to Limerick to a rousing reception and happily posed for photographs, but kept quiet about any details of their kidnap.

Eddie Ryan Snr

Eddie Ryan Snr

'Smokie' Costello was one of five men, along with Dessie Dundon, later jailed for life for Keane's murder and still remains in prison.

By the time the two Ryan brothers were caught in possession of a firearm in 2010, a massive Garda crackdown was underway to put an end to the feuding in Limerick.

Eddie Jnr was jailed for six years after he was found travelling in a car at Ballyneety village with a loaded semi-automatic pistol.

Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan, who was also in the car at the time, was sentenced to eight years in prison after they were tracked travelling out of the city to collect the 9mm handgun and ammo.

Earlier this year Eddie Jnr got a year-long sentence after pleading guilty to the possession of €21,000, knowing it to be the proceeds of crime.

Despite his guilty plea, he claimed the money came from gambling and horse dealing.

Since his release from prison, newly married Kieran Ryan is believed to have become a serious player in the Limerick underworld.

Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan and Eds McCarthy

Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan and Eds McCarthy

His rise is due in part to the success of his cousin 'Fat' John McCarthy and his brother Eds, who had been a close associate of Kinahan cartel figure Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh.

'Fat' John, who recently finished a lengthy prison term, and brother Eds, who has returned from Birmingham, are both back living in the Moyross area of Limerick.

The brothers were recently seen together with 'Rashers' Ryan at a funeral of a young woman who had passed away in the city.

Eds had previously taken control of the gang, moving to Birmingham to maintain the group's links with 'Bomber' Kavanagh and his brother-in-law Liam Byrne.

Under investigation from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and the gardai, McCarthy stayed away from the city for almost five years, while Ryan also kept a low profile.

CAB had seized a house and jewellery from him before he moved to Birmingham and into the inner circle of Kavanagh's operation.

With three of the Dundon brothers - Wayne, John and Dessie - serving life for murder, and several other key figures locked up for long stretches, the city's gangs have since regrouped.

The city's gangsters are said to have agreed to stop shooting each other and concentrate on making money through drug dealing.

The McCarthy brothers and Ryan are now believed to be the biggest gangland target for gardai outside of Dublin, according to sources.


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