Sunday 30 April 2017

Gene Kerrigan: Ryan, tripped runner in the human race

Those who denounce Gerry Ryan's drug abuse are missing two key points, writes Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Amid the joys of Christmas, for most of us there's an element of melancholy. The absence of loved ones who have died is more deeply felt at times of celebration. All the more so when the loss is recent. No doubt the grief of Gerry Ryan's family and friends will be particularly raw throughout these days. Ryan wasn't just a man, a father, partner and friend, he was a public figure. The public nature of the mourning that followed his death is echoed now in the public disapproval from those who felt let down by his cocaine taking.

At times the response to the toxicology report has been virulent. As someone who wasn't a fan of Ryan's, I've felt detached from both the extravagant tributes of last May and the recent overblown vilification. Those who heap abuse on Ryan's head are missing two significant points.

The first relates to the mixture of veneration and fear within which an RTE celebrity lives. Here's some context.

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