Gerry Ryan posthumously inducted into hall of fame

Sat, Oct 13, 2012, 01:00

THE LATE RTÉ radio presenter Gerry Ryan last night became the first to be inducted into a new hall of fame for Irish broadcasting.

Somewhat surprisingly and despite his status as one of the giants of Irish broadcasting, a status that has not diminished since his death two years ago, he never received an award from his peers while he was alive.

He was one of four broadcasters inducted into the hall of fame at the annual PPI (Phonographic Performance Ireland) Radio Awards in Kilkenny last night.

The award was accepted by his daughter Lottie Ryan, who has followed her father into broadcasting.

The citation read: “For 22 years, 15 hours a week, Gerry Ryan had more than 300,000 listeners at the time of his untimely death in 2010. He changed RTÉ 2fm and Irish radio forever.”

His photograph, along with those of the three other inductees, will hang in the offices of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which issues radio licences.

Lottie Ryan said her father would have been “absolutely over the moon” at the award. “I can feel him having a big laugh at this, completely and absolutely loving it,” she said.

“It is not just any award, it is a hall of fame and it is a contribution to broadcasting over the years. I’m thrilled for him.

“Everyone is really exciting. All my family are jealous that I’m here.”

Ryan died suddenly in April 2010 and RTÉ has struggled to fill the gap left by his death.

This week Gerry Ryan’s friend and music promoter Dave Kavanagh was granted an interim High Court injunction preventing the publication of Ryan’s partner Melanie Verwoerd’s memoir When We Dance.

The case is due to be heard on October 24th.

The Ryan family has declined to talk about the book. Last night Ms Ryan said of her family: “Everybody is in good spirits.”

PPI chief executive Dick Doyle said the awards were now 12 years old and it was a fitting time to introduce a hall of fame.

“Gerry had never received an accolade from his peers. He’s dead two years now and we felt the time was right to recognise the broadcasting genius who made 2fm what it is.”

Three living broadcasters were also inducted into the hall of fame.

Ronan O’Rahilly, the legendary founder of the pirate radio station Radio Caroline, was inducted at the age of 72.

Veteran Radio na Gaeltachta presenter Seán Bán Breathnach, who summed up the mood of the nation when Katie Taylor won Olympic gold with his invocation of many great Irish women, was another, while the fourth was the Downtown Radio presenter Candy Devine.