Oglach Alan Ryan
A week ago on Monday afternoon IRA volunteer Alan Ryan was shot in the back on the streets of North Dublin in a cowardly ambush by hired gunman. Those responsible for his murder are a part of a drugs culture in Dublin which Alan had brought to the brink of destruction. As leader of
the Dublin brigade of the IRA Alan had wrought havoc on the drugs gangs that plagued his city. He was a highly effective organizer and built up an organisation which pushed the drugs gangs steadily out of the city. Ultimately whilst a drugs gang may bear direct responsibility for his murder there are a number of forces which enabled it. The Free state media and Gardaiboth helped create the conditions where an IRA volunteer was criminalized and demonised.
Alan was a lifelong Republican Socialist. From his early teens he was an active member of Na Fianna Eireann before graduating into the ranks of the Irish Republican Army. He led from the front and by the age of 19 was in portloaise jail serving a seven year sentence. This did little to change his mind about the republican movement and when he was released he set about building up the Republican movement in Dublin. Alan was not a militarist, he had a keen understanding of the relationship between the social struggle and the war against the occupation. He felt that a political Republican movement was essential to help organize communities and to mobilize Republicans. As such he was active in the 32CSM right up until his murder and played a leading role in helping develop the movement in Dublin.
The media began to take notice of Alan when it became apparent that he was making headway in Dublin in the campaign against drug dealers. Encouraged by the Gardai the tabloid press began to use his name with greater frequency, attempting to link him to criminality with greater frequency. Alan was hurt by this on a personal level and often expressed his amazement that anybody could believe he was involved in criminality given the lifestyle he led. He lived at home, unable until recently to afford a car of his own. He did not enjoy a life of luxury. The media painted him as a dangerous thug. His friends knew him as a big kid who enjoyed nothing better than messing about with his pals. The gardai regarded him as a threat to the state, he was a threat to their state. He despised the 26 county government which he rightly saw as being responsible for impoverishing his community and the Irish working class. He refused to pay fines handed down to him by the courts going to jail rather than handing over money to the IMF. His personal generosity was usually at his own expense he went without rather than seeing others stuck.
Alan was happier in the past few months than in previous years. He felt that republicanism was beginning to develop and grow in strength. Despite his own concerns in Dublin he remained resolutely committed to the struggle in the six counties and looked forward to seeing the Republican movement there develop. He cared deeply about republican prisoners in particular Marian Price who he constantly reminded people about and who he personally campaigned for with all his effort. The media stepped up its efforts to portray Alan as a gangster and a thug. They were encouraged by the Garda special branch who could not make any headway against Alan or the Dublin brigade of the IRA which had crippled numerous drugs gangs across the city. They kept Alan under constant surveillance and harassed him and his family at every opportunity.
On Monday afternoon this surveillance disappeared. Alan and two friends were all being monitored and kept under a close eye that day. Yet the gunman who murdered Alan was allowed to travel freely in an area which was saturated with gardai on a daily basis. After he murdered Alan he was allowed make good his escape unhindered for a vital ten minutes while the gardai turned a blind eye. No Garda helicopter was scrambled to attempt to stop the getaway. The Gardai who did arrive on the scene mocked Alan and his friends, they showed no interest in establishing what had happened.
Alan was buried by his friends and comrades in the Republican movement. The forces of the state could not prevent the volunteers of the IRA laying their comrade to rest with dignity and honour. They were forced to stand by impotently as the volunteers of Dublin brigade emerged and gave their comrade a volley of shots to salute him. Alan was laid to rest with his father while thousands of his friends and comrades stood to say goodbye. It was a funeral fitting for a great Republican, it made a mockery of the attempts to portray him as a local criminal.
Alan left behind a legacy which will not be immediately apparent. Young republicans across Ireland looked to Alan for leadership and as an example of what a Republican activist should behave like. His integrity and commitment is ingrained in the minds of a new generation of Republicans who will no doubt do their best to live up to the example he set. In murdering Alan the drug gangs have no doubt sealed their own fate. The Republican movement has not been destroyed by the loss of Alan. No republican has fled Dublin following his murder. Republicans are gathering and uniting in his memory and no doubt the impact of this will be seen in the weeks to come.
For his friends Alan cannot be replaced or forgotten. He wasn’t just a Republican, he was a brother, a son and a friend to so many. He brightened up the lives of all he came into contact with. He has left behind memories which will always be treasured and the hurt of losing him will never be fully healed. We can only do what Alan always encouraged us to, keep strong and carry on united until we complete the goals for which he gave his life for.
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Dublin Cumann
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