The leader of the Real IRA has been gunned down and murdered in cold blood in Dublin in a vicious Republican feud.
Alan Ryan died in Beaumont Hospital after he was shot in broad daylight on the north side of the city.
The death of the 32-year-old dissident Republican has been linked to an internal feud over the proceeds of a bank robbery.
Police are also investigating claims that Ryan was murdered in retaliation for the assassination of gangster Mika ‘The Panda’ Kelly.
Ryan was walking from his house in the North Dublin suburb of Clongriffin when the gunman attacked.
The Real IRA leader and an associate were both hit as the assassin discharged five shots from a handgun.
The gunman then shot Ryan twice in the head before fleeing the scene.
Ryan died shortly after he was transferred to hospital while his associate is said to be in a ‘stable’ condition.
One eyewitness told reporters: “There was blood everywhere. It was horrific. It was squirting out of his mouth.
“Alan was talking for about a minute but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I heard the shots and ran out and could see he was shot in the head and heart.
“Alan is known in this area but no one ever expected anything like this to happen in broad daylight.”
Police now fear a revenge attack after Ryan’s murder which has been linked to an internal Real IRA feud and the robbery of $400,000 from a Dublin drugs gang.
One source told the Irish Sun newspaper: “Ryan had enemies in some of the most vicious drugs gangs in Ireland because he was demanding cash all over the place.
“There will be carnage over this. There’s no way Ryan’s gang will let this go and they will be baying for blood. His mob has access to a vast array of automatic weapons and explosives. This was a professional hit - the criminal gangs seem to have had enough of Ryan’s men taking their money.”
Ryan had been warned by police that his life was under threat.