A SLIGO man who escaped injury in the gun attack that left IRA man Alan Ryan dead has said he will not help gardai in the hunt for the killer.
Paul Stewart (22) was with the former Real IRA prisoner and another Sligo man, Aaron Neilis, on a north Dublin street during the fatal gun attack on September 3.
A gunman opened fire on the men on Grange Lodge Avenue in Congriffin, firing a number of shots at 32-year-old Ryan and killing him instantly.
Mr Neilis, a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) and a friend of the murder victim, suffered serious gunshot wounds to the leg. Mr Stewart was unhurt.
He revealed that the men had been approached from behind by the gunman who shot Ryan in the back and the head up to six times.
Mr Stewart, a qualified teacher, yesterday admitted to RTE Radio One's Liveline programme that he was a member of the 32CSM but denied being involved in any paramilitary activity.
He revealed that he had refused to help gardai who are investigating the murder, which is believed to have been carried out by one of Dublin's most notorious criminal gangs.
"I have no real interest in talking to them about what happened. I don't see any real merit in [cooperating with the investigation]. I don't think the gardai have any real interest in catching who did this," he said.
Ryan was suspected of being a high-level Real IRA member and was being investigated for involvement in an extortion racket that saw dissident republicans force pub and business owners to hand over cash.
The gang was also believed to have forced a number of pubs to shut down and had clashed with major criminals in north Dublin.
However, Mr Stewart described his friend as "unemployed", insisting he had been targeted because of his involvement in anti-drugs campaigning in the city.
The Republic's justice minister Alan Shatter has already rejected a claim by the 32CSM that Ryan was an anti-drugs activist.
A Garda spokesman last night refused to comment on criticisms by Mr Stewart of the Garda response to the attack.
Mr Stewart claimed gardai had failed to respond quickly to the at tack, suggesting it was almost 15 minutes before they arrived on the scene while some Special Branch members were seen "laughing and joking" about the murder.
He said that while the dead man had been "nearly under 24-hour surveillance" by detectives, his killer had "somehow managed to evade the gardai".
"Alan knew for some time that there were people out to get him. It's shocking that he was killed but it is not entirely surprising because the drugs gangs were so in fear of him," he said.
"I find it very hard to believe that gardai didn't know what was happening and that the gardai didn't see Alan being killed.
However, he confirmed that gardai were the first members of the emergency services to arrive at the crime scene.
Mr Stewart said he would not be involved in any reprisals.
He defended a controversial show of paramilitary strength at Saturday's funeral in Donaghmede when a number of shots were fired over Ryan's coffin.
Mr Stewart also confirmed that Ryan was a friend of high profile Co Armagh republican Colin Duffy, who gave a graveside oration, saying they knew each other from "republican political circles".
The Garda spokesman said an investigation was continuing into the incident at Donaghmede during which shots were discharged in the air.