Arrests after Real IRA funeral of Alan Ryan

Paramilitaries at Alan Ryan funeral
Image caption There was a paramilitary 'show of strength' at Alan Ryan's funeral

Police investigating dissident republican activity at the funeral of Alan Ryan last Saturday have released two of 16 men arrested on Thursday.

Searches were carried out in Dublin, Louth, Meath and Kildare. Fourteen men and one woman remain in custody.

Ryan, a leading Real IRA member, was murdered in Dublin last week.

On Saturday, shots were fired over his coffin as it left his home in Donaghmede and the funeral was accompanied by masked men and women.

The Garda (police) staged a major operation around the funeral, but made no arrests over it on the day.

In a statement on Thursday, the Garda said: "As part of the investigation into the possession and discharge of firearms at Grange Abbey Drive, Donaghmede, Dublin, on 8 September 2012 (and the activities of dissident republicans) a search and arrest operation was carried out at locations across counties Dublin, Meath and Kildare this morning.

"This morning's phase of operation 'Ambience' involves over 200 gardai, including members of the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, local detectives, uniformed gardai and the Garda dog unit."

They said 30 locations had been searched, with three imitation guns, mobile phones, computers and documentation seized.

Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter described the paramilitary 'show of strength' at the funeral as "reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable".

Ryan, 32, was shot several times at Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin on Monday, 3 September. A second man was also shot and sustained leg injuries.

In 2000, Ryan had been jailed over the discovery of a Real IRA training camp at Stamullen, County Meath.

RTE crime correspondent Paul Reynolds said the Dubliner was "very well known in criminal and republican circles both north and south of the border".

A man in his late 40s arrested by police following the murder was released without charge on Saturday.

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