Sunday 21 January 2018

Gerry Ryan's death 'likely' caused by cocaine use

The late broadcaster Gerry Ryan had cocaine in his system when he died, an inquest heard today.

The 53-year-old RTE Radio star was found in his Dublin flat on the floor of his bedroom on April 30.

An inquest into his death opened at the Dublin City Coroner's Court today.

It heard toxicology tests carried out as part of post mortem examinations found he had traces of cocaine in his system which showed recent use.

Pathology reports showed the cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, most likely caused by cocaine consumption.

The inquest was also told that Ryan had been under extreme stress from his personal situation, financial affairs and work.

Coroner Brian Farrell said Mr Ryan had a significantly damaged heart, with recent cocaine usage a significant risk factor to his death.

He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

A statement issued on behalf of Mr Ryan's wife Morah, from whom he had separated, and family said they were glad to have the inquest behind them.

She urged anyone under stress or facing worries and pressure to get professional help.

"In these difficult times for so many families in our country, we want to take this opportunity to say to anyone under stress, or with pressure or worries of any kind, to reach out for personal support and professional help," the statement read.

"Gerard was a communicator and yet he too struggled.

"If today is to mean something, it is to offer encouragement.

"If it is to have a message, it is that there is always someone to share your problem with, someone to offer professional advice and someone to shine light into your life when you need it most. There is always someone to ask.

"That is the simple message Gerard would have dearly wished from today."

Ms Ryan said the past number of months had been very difficult.

"Our wish is that Gerard's memory will be left to our children now, as it should be, for a dad in a million who lived for them.

"He lived life to the full, it made him who he was. He loved us and we loved him. We are proud to be his family."

She thanked the coroner's office for their professionalism and sensitivity and those who sent the family messages of sympathy and support.

"We are very grateful and take enormous comfort from the fact that Gerard was part of the daily lives of so many people and that, in his own inimitable way, he entertained, listened, helped and gave a voice to so many people," the statement said.

The family said it would not be making any further comment and asked for privacy.

Press Association

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