Continuity IRA 'retraining and rearming', statement taking responsibility for Dublin shooting claims

BBC reports the Continuity IRA was behind the attack on Friday

Newstalk, David Byrne, Regency hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin, shoot, murder, kill, gang, organised crime, armed gardai

Gardai outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin after shooting. Picture by: Niall Carson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A journalist who was told the Continuity IRA was behind a fatal shooting in Dublin last week, in which David Byrne (33) was killed, says the information came from a "credible" source.

A man claiming to speak on behalf of the leadership of the Continuity IRA told the BBC: "This will not be an isolated incident. Continuity IRA units have been authorised to carry out further operations. More drug dealers and criminals will be targeted".

The man said they targetted Mr Byrne because he had been involved in the killing of Alan Ryan in Dublin four years ago.

32-year-old Ryan was a leading member of another dissident republican group, the Real IRA.

BBC's Northern Ireland Home Affairs Correspondent, Vincent Kearney, says he received the statement verbally - which included a code-word.

"This code-word certainly had not been used with me before, because they had been inactive for such a period of time", he told Sean Moncrieff here on Newstalk.

"In the statement given to me, the opening line stressed that the Continuity IRA has been retraining and rearming in recent years".

"This statement certainly has been issued on behalf of the collective leadership of the Continuity IRA".

An Garda Síochána are continuing to appeal to the public for information following the incident.

"Gardaí are aware of the recent statement to the media and are keeping an open mind in relation to the criminal groups involved as part of their investigations", it says in a statement.

While Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says detectives are following a large number of inquiries, and confirmed this latest claim will be investigated.

Speaking prior to that report, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called on the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams to comment on a claim the guns used in Friday's hotel shooting in Dublin may have belonged to the IRA.

Mr Kenny says Mr Adams needs to comment on suggestions that the AK47s used in the killing "may well be very similar, if not of the same cargo that came in from abroad with the Provisional IRA a number of years ago".

Ms Fitzgerald gave her reaction to Newstalk Lunchtime.

Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald have promised that whatever resources are needed to bring those responsible to justice, will be provided.

They have announced the second Special Criminal Court will begin hearings on April 4th.

This morning, the Tánaiste Joan Burton told Newstalk Breakfast that abolishing the court - as has been suggested by Sinn Féin - would "severely hamper our ability to persuade witnesses to give evidence in relation to gangland-type cases, and secondly to provide protection to juries".

Manhunt underway

An international manhunt is continuing after the shooting during a boxing weigh-in.

At least six men are believed to have been involved, three of whom were dressed as gardaí.

Armed patrols will continue to be put in place in parts of Dublin, amid fears of retaliation attacks.

Gardaí have confirmed the incident is linked to organised crime, and say they are hunting for several suspects.

General manager of the hotel, John Glynn, was in the reception area as Mr Byrne was gunned down.

He spoke to the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk earlier.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Ballymun garda station on 01-6664-400 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800-666-111.