Tuesday 12 December 2017

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the death of legendary 2FM radio presenter Gerry Ryan

Electric Personality: RTE radio broadcaster, the late Gerry Ryan, was hugely popular with listeners. Photo: Mark Condren
Electric Personality: RTE radio broadcaster, the late Gerry Ryan, was hugely popular with listeners. Photo: Mark Condren
Gerry Ryan, TV presenter and radio DJ
RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan in 1979. Photo courtesy of RTÉ stills library.
Gerry presented the popular School Around the Corner on RTE for many years.
Gerry Ryan and Marco Pierre White on the set of Ryan Confidential 2008
Gerry Ryan and Dave Fanning at the Four Seasons Hotel Dublin Chernobyl Children's lunch in 2007.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of iconic radio presenter DJ Gerry Ryan.

The anniversary comes just weeks after the death of former 2FM colleague Tony Fenton, who passed away after battling cancer.

Colleagues and friends have taken to Twitter to remember Gerry on his anniversary.

Evelyn O'Rourke tweeted a photo of herself with Gerry, "This is one of my fave pics - it was taken at Galway races - (I was 6 months pregnant!) We miss you #gerryryan #rip".

Gerry had joined RTE in 1979 on a salary of just IR£78 a week but by 2007 he had signed a five-year deal worth more than €550,000 per annum.

Gerry changed the course of Irish radio with his irreverent style but was just 53 when he passed away on April 30, 2010, leaving behind five children Lottie, Bonnie, Rex, Elliott and Babette.

Lottie has followed in her father's footsteps with her own radio show on 2FM, The Early Early Breakfast Show on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 6am.

Speaking to the Irish Sun this week she says that it's only now, five years later, that she can bring herself to talk publicly about her father's death.

"It's taken me a long, long time because it's not natural to talk about bereavement unless you are talking to members of your family," she said.

"I'm getting into my groove with my own career so it's something I'm comfortable with now.

"Dad's anniversary is always sad but we celebrate his life as well. We get together and chat, tell stories. There are so many good memories for the family."

Speaking in the wake of Tony Fenton's death, RTE radio star Dave Fanning fondly remembered the days in the 1980s when he, Tony, and Gerry were seen as "rock stars".

“The whole thing was one big bloody laugh with no responsibility," he told the Irish Sun.

"What was crazier was The Beat on the Streets. We had 30000 once out watching us in some place in Cork.

"We had a semi armoured car taking us from one place to another. We were treated like rock stars."

In October last year Gerry's colleagues RTE laid a bronze tile in his memory outside the Radio Centre at RTE in Donnybrook.

The Ryan family were present but they had requested that the unveiling of the tile, which they had helped to select and design, be kept private and low key.

A statement from RTE at the time said "Gerry Ryan was, and still is, very much a big part of RTÉ Radio, and it was felt that the Bronze Tile is a fitting way for his colleagues to remember him each day on their way to and from work."

The statement added, "The loss of Gerry, to this day, is still huge to Irish Radio, RTÉ, Gerry's colleagues, his friends and most importantly to his family. 

"Bearing this in mind the artist responsible, Patrick O'Reilly, a personal friend of Gerry's and the Ryan family, was able to produce this tile with Gerry in mind."

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