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City's fond farewell to 'Robocop' who kept roads safe

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In memory: Gardaí, led by Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche, and members of the public form a guard of honour outside Henry Street garda station in Limerick for retired Garda Eddie Ryan. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

In memory: Gardaí, led by Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche, and members of the public form a guard of honour outside Henry Street garda station in Limerick for retired Garda Eddie Ryan. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

In memory: Gardaí, led by Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche, and members of the public form a guard of honour outside Henry Street garda station in Limerick for retired Garda Eddie Ryan. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Hundreds of past and present gardaí held a guard of honour to Eddie Ryan, who was affectionately known as 'Robocop' and who "kept the streets a safer place to be".

Tipperary native Mr Ryan (56) passed away from cancer last Sunday. He started his career in An Garda Síochána at Roxboro Road, Limerick, before moving to the city's headquarters in Henry Street in 2003 to join the Division's Traffic Corps.

He retired from the force in February 2014 after more than 30 years' service and had been working as a taxi regulator.

Paying tribute, his garda partner of 11 years, Sergeant Tony Miniter of the Limerick Divisional Roads Policing Unit, said Mr Ryan was well liked by all, even by those he rubbed shoulders with on the highways and byways and who he prosecuted.

The father of three was known for his big physical presence, which helped him come across as "terrorising (to offenders) and helped keep our roads safer", said Sgt Miniter. "He was a very big man, a larger-than-life character and his likes will never be seen again."

Despite his towering presence, however, Mr Ryan was a "gentle giant" and was regarded as always treating offenders fairly.

"He was very well liked, even if he was taking down your details at the side of the road. Nobody really had a bad word to say about Eddie Ryan," said Sgt Miniter.

"When you're prosecuting members of the public, you're normally on their bad side, but he was loved by so many people, especially by his colleagues. He was affectionately known by some of the public, and by some of ourselves, as 'Robocop' but in some ways that did him an injustice in that he did his job and he was brilliant at what he did, and he definitely kept the streets a safer place to be."

Mr Ryan was also well-known as a loyal Munster rugby fan, and led many of the team's escorts from their hotel to Thomond Park.

His cortège was led by motorcycle Garda escort from Thompson's Funeral Home, Thomas Street, to Shannon for a private cremation.

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