Thursday 22 March 2018

Ryan leaves €1.3m to wife Morah but nothing to Melanie

Ken Sweeney and Louise Hogan

GERRY Ryan left assets worth more than €1.3m to his estranged wife Morah, and not a cent to his partner Melanie Verwoerd.

The RTE star, who died after taking cocaine in April last year, did not change his will after he separated from Morah, the mother of his five children and his wife for 26 years.

Documents lodged in the probate office show that Mr Ryan's last will and testament was made on November 13, 1992, and gives a current value for his estate of €1,333,921.

The revelations come just over a year after the broadcaster died. Ms Verwoerd was not invited to the church service which marked the anniversary of the death last month.

Sending flowers instead, in a statement Ms Verwoerd said: "My children and I have not received an invite to the Mass. I wish to commemorate Gerry in my own personal way and have made arrangements to do so privately."

Some days later, a wooden bench with a simple bronze plaque was placed under a cherry blossom tree in the middle of Herbert Park, where she had often sat with Mr Ryan during their two-year relationship.

The 43-year-old recently told the Irish Independent how her life was "hell" without Gerry and "would continue to be hell".

She had been completely unaware of her partner's drug use and was visibly shocked when details of his cocaine use emerged at his inquest last year.

No further details of Mr Ryan's estate are outlined in the documents -- which are publicly available -- though it is believed the family home on Castle Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, makes up most of its value.

It is not known what other assets, if any, were in Mr Ryan's name.

However, the cream-fronted five-bedroom period house, which the couple purchased in the mid-1990s, is believed to be worth just €850,000.

Three separate mortgages were taken out on the property over eight years, during which time the house was extended. It is not known if the mortgages have been paid off.

The Land Registry shows no evidence of other property in the broadcaster's name.

He and his wife Morah confirmed in March 2008 that they had split "with regret" after 26 years of marriage.

The couple had five children, Lottie (24), Rex (21), Bonnie (18), Elliot (13), and Babette (10).

As one of the national broadcaster's top earners, his contract with RTE had been consistently worth more than €500,000 since 2002, when it was substantially increased.

Its value was €630,000 in 2008 but it was cut to €567,000 in 2009.


In 2008, Mr Ryan also signed a €100,000 contract with Penguin Ireland to write his autobiography.

Mr Ryan was contracted to RTE through his company Balcom Management Ltd. He and Morah were the only directors.

The abridged company accounts show that sums owed by the company jumped dramatically between 2008 and 2009.

Accounts for 2008 showed that sums falling due to creditors the following year totalled just €91,414. But the 2009 accounts show how debts due to creditors for 2010 totalled €355,744.

The accounts also show Mr Ryan took interest-free directors' loans from the company, the total value of which came to €316,470 by the end of 2009.

Mr Ryan was found dead at his apartment on Upper Leeson Street in Dublin on April 30, 2010.

An inquest later heard that cocaine use was likely to have triggered the cardiac arrhythmia which caused his death.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News