Ryan funeral arrangements finalised

 

RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan is to be buried on Thursday, it was announced today.

The 53-year-old father of five died suddenly on Friday. A postmortem on his body, delayed because of the bank holiday weekend, is being carried out today.

A family spokeswoman said on Sunday they believed Ryan died of "a massive heart attack".

Ryan will be brought to his family home in Clontarf this evening where he will repose with his family. There will be a private wake at the house tomorrow afternoon.

Funeral mass will be held at 11.30am on Thursday at St John the Baptist, Clontarf Road, Dublin 3. The Ryan family have asked that in lieu of flowers, friends and fans should make a donation to their charity of choice.

The church only holds about 300 people. A family spokeswoman said speakers will be placed outside the building so mourners can hear the service.

RTÉ said the service will be broadcast live on 2fm.

A book of condolence in memory of Ryan reopened at the Mansion House in Dublin this morning. The book will remain open to the public until 4pm today and from 10am until 4pm tomorrow. It was signed by more than 2,500 people yesterday.

Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello said she was glad to give people the opportunity to pay tribute to the broadcaster. "It's difficult for people to come to terms with the fact that the airwaves will just not be the same in the mornings anymore. Everything has changed now."

More than 4,000 people signed a book of condolence in the RTÉ radio centre in Donnybrook, Dublin over the weekend.

RTÉ also said over 6,000 texts were received during a special tribute programme on 2fm on Saturday morning. Another three-hour tribute show will be aired from 9am today featuring calls from listeners, contributors in the studio and clips of Ryan over the years.

Ryan’s colleague Pat Kenny said there was an ache at the heart of RTÉ after the sudden loss of his friend. “It’s an emptiness which will be impossible to fill,” he said.

Ryan was given his popular eponymous chat show on 2fm in 1988 and went on to become a household name, attracting a daily audience of more than 300,000 listeners.

Over the years he also hosted several television series including Secrets, Ryantown, Gerry Ryan Tonight, Gerry Ryan’s Hitlist, Ryan Confidential and Operation Transformation.