Funeral Mass for Ryan to be broadcast on 2fm

 

THE FUNERAL of RTÉ presenter Gerry Ryan, which takes place tomorrow, will be broadcast on radio and streamed through the internet.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of St John the Baptist on Clontarf Road, which seats only 300 people and will not be big enough to accommodate all those wishing to attend.

Family friend and spokeswoman Joanne Byrne said arrangements were being put in place to ensure that those who knew him well would be able to attend the funeral Mass, but it would not be an invitation-only event.

“That’s not what Gerry was about,” she said.

The coffin carrying Ryan’s remains was taken to the family home on Castle Avenue, Clontarf, last night from the city morgue where a postmortem was carried out yesterday morning.

A small crowd of local neighbours turned out. Members of the public had placed bouquets of flowers on the railings outside the family home. The results of the postmortem have not been made public, but Ryan’s family believe he died of a massive heart attack in the early hours of Friday.

His body was found by his partner Melanie Verwoerd in his apartment on Leeson Street in Dublin on Friday afternoon.

There will be a private wake today from 3pm at Castle Avenue for friends and family and they have requested that, in lieu of flowers, well-wishers should make a donation to their personal charity of choice.

Large crowds are expected to gather for the funeral along the short route from the Ryan family home on Castle Avenue to the church, a distance of about 750 metres.

The church is where he was married and where his mother’s funeral service was held three years ago.

The funeral Mass takes place at 11.30am tomorrow. Loudspeakers will be set up in the grounds of the church and 2fm will broadcast a Mass for the first time in its history.

The funeral will also be screened by webcam on the parish website at http://www.stjohnsclontarf.dublindiocese.ie/ and on RTÉ’s website.

The chief celebrant will be Fr Michael Collins, the well-known priest and author, who was a regular guest on the Gerry Ryan Show talking about religious matters for 12 years.

Ryan (53) often referred to him as “the Gerry Ryan padre and friend of this parish”.

Fr Collins, a curate at St John the Baptist Church in Blackrock, said: “At the moment we are working on the service. It is going to be very much a family affair, but one that takes into account the tapestry of people that he worked with and with an awareness that it is going to be broadcast to the nation. We want to include as many people as possible.”

Head of 2fm John McMahon said the funeral Mass would be broadcast because of the “enormous response” of listeners to Ryan’s sudden death last Friday.

“It is an unprecedented situation for us. It is a small church. Listeners would want to take part in the funeral service and the easiest way to do that is to broadcast it,” he said.