After a long lull in gangland murders – none since March – two came together, one in Limerick and one in Dublin.

The assassination of Alan Ryan, a Real IRA leader in north Dublin, is a landmark murder in the capital and is sure to have repercussions.

Most suspicions on the killers are pointing at criminal gangs in the city which were targeted by Ryan and his faction in an extortion racket. While claiming to be ‘anti-drugs’ they slapped taxes on the earnings of drug traffickers and armed robbers and if they didn’t pay up, he ordered shootings, resulting in a number of murders. The feeling is that one of these gangs, or a group of them, had had enough and ordered a hit on him.

The other possibility is that the killers are, as one garda told me, ‘closer to home’, meaning at the hands of other Real IRA figures.

While the media loves to create lists of suspects within hours of shootings – and we all do it to varying degrees – it is, as gardai (irate at journalists annoying them) say, ‘early days’ in the investigation..


About Cormac O'Keeffe

I've written a novel. And, it's going to be published. This April. Mad, or what? It's entitled 'Black Water' and is a crime novel set in Dublin's gangland, along the evocative Grand Canal. This blog is about that bumpy journey, which is about to get really exciting. You'll also find some photography on this blog, particularly snaps that relate to my novel, much of it centred along the canal. There are also some reviews, both fiction and non-fiction, many of them published in the Irish Examiner, a daily national newspaper in Ireland. I work as security correspondent there and have specialist interests in crime, drugs, policing, the justice system, communities and human rights. Both my personal life and my professional life have fed into my novel, or, rather, have been poured into it. My novel was granted a literature bursary by the Irish Arts Council in September 2014 and my journalistic work has won multiple awards from the Law Society of Ireland over many years, most recently in 2015.
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