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17 arrests over Real IRA funeral shots

Mourners at the funeral of Real IRA member Alan Ryan.

Police in the Republic of Ireland have made 17 arrests after shots were fired into the air during a paramilitary funeral in Dublin.

Thursday, 13 September 2012
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Men dressed in combat gear shot a volley of bullets over the tricolour-draped coffin of murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan on Saturday.

A major search operation involving 200 gardaí officers was launched on Thursday morning into dissident republican activity linked to the apparent show of strength.

Sixteen men, one woman and a teen boy have been arrested during raids which have been taking place across counties Dublin, Meath and Kildare.

The persons arrested range in age from late teens to 60 years of age.

Gardaí also seized three imitation firearms, mobile phones, computers along with documentation.

Alan Ryan, who was 32, was shot dead in broad daylight by a gunman in the grounds of an apartment complex in Clongriffin on 3 September.

He was head of a Real IRA faction in Dublin and had been linked to extortion rackets.

Concerns had been raised after men opened fire over his coffin, despite up to 100 gardaí being drafted in for the service in Donaghmede.

Mourners attempted to shield the gunmen from onlooking gardaí and cameras as they changed out of combat gear and masks in a van at a house.

Those arrested on Thursday have been detained under section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939.

The investigation is ongoing.