Prominent dissidents republicans from across Northern Ireland will attend the funeral in Dublin tomorrow of murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan.
There will be a massive armed garda presence at the funeral which is expected to have paramilitary trappings.
Ryan (32) was killed in a gangland style gun attack near his North Dublin home on Monday. Two gunmen opened fire on him and a friend as they walked along Grange Lodge Avenue in Clongriffin.
Ryan was shot in the head and chest and died shortly afterwards. His friend, who was shot in the leg, is recovering in hospital. Leading Dublin drug dealers are believed to have been behind the killing.
Last night, the dissident republican 32 County Sovereignty Movement asked all attending the funeral at Holy Trinity Church in Donaghmeade to wear black and white only. Dozens of black flags and Tricolours have already been erected in the streets near Ryan's home.
In dissident republican areas in Northern Ireland, Ryan has become a martyr. Graffiti honouring him has appeared in Belfast and Derry.
Dissident republicans have predicted retaliation for the murder. "If we don't hit back then we're finished in Dublin. It's as simple as that," a source said.
Ryan was a significant player in both fund-raising for the Real IRA and in the group's campaign against drug dealers.
He was sentenced to three years in Portlaoise prison after he was arrested at a Real IRA training camp in Stamullen, Co Meath, in 1999. He was due to go on trial for extortion before he was killed.
Ryan and his associates were suspected of involvement in the killing of two notorious Dublin drug dealers – Sean Winters in 2010 and Michael 'the Panda' Kelly last year.
Prominent Derry dissident republican Gary Donnelly has paid tribute to Alan Ryan. "From a personal point of view, I am proud to say I knew him. Alan was a committed republican, community and anti-drug activist."
Donnelly said Ryan was "no saint or Mother Teresa" but was "a fearless and committed activist". strongly opposed to the British "occupation of Ireland".
He revealed that while Ryan was hated by the Garda Special Branch, some guards concerned about drug dealing "cared about him" and had warned him to be careful about his security.
Last month, the Real IRA along with independent republicans and the Derry-based Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) amalgamated to form a "new IRA".
While the Provisional IRA murdered many drug dealers in Northern Ireland – most recently under the cover-name Direction Action Against Drugs (DAAD) – they never faced retaliation.
However, in the Republic drug dealers are organised in large criminal gangs and are well armed and resourced. Last year, Continuity IRA member Liam Kenny was shot dead after clashing with Dublin drug dealers.
Ryan is the third Real IRA member to be killed since the group was formed. Ronan McLauglin was shot dead by gardai during an attempted armed robbery in Co Wicklow in 1998.
The Real IRA's Belfast commander, Joe O'Connor, was shot dead in Ballymurphy by the Provisional IRA in 2000.