Cocaine? I hadn't a clue, insists Ryan's RTE boss

Kevin Doyle

THE one person you would think should have known about Gerry Ryan's cocaine habit insists today he knew nothing at all.

Gerry's boss of 11 years, John Clarke, astonished most observers by claiming that he didn't believe the coke problem was an "open secret".

The former 2fm boss denied claims that Ryan took cocaine while in RTE and that he went on air under the influence.

Despite other RTE colleagues, and most of Dublin's media circuit knowing about the shock-jock's habit as an "open secret", Mr Clarke insisted: "Frankly, I don't believe it."

The State broadcaster has yet to break its silence on the outcome of last Friday's inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court.

But Mr Clarke -- who was in charge of Gerry from 1999 until 2010 -- said that he was never aware of the cocaine abuse that caused his friend's death.

"He never took drugs on my watch," he said. "I worked with Gerry for 11 years and I never saw any evidence of the kind of things said about him now.

"I think a lot of the claims being made about his drug use are fabrications."

Mr Clarke said that he "never saw sight nor whiff" of Gerry abusing illegal drugs.

The comments are at odds with journalist Joe Jackson who has repeated claims that "most people who worked in RTE radio or television" knew that Gerry was using cocaine.


And another former colleague, Garreth O'Callaghan, described Gerry as "a hypocrite".

"He was sneaky and he betrayed his listeners," said Mr O'Callaghan. The DJ, who now works at 4FM, said he knew Gerry was snorting cocaine from the early 1990s. "When I look back at the Late Late Show tribute, I think it's pathetic that nobody admitted that they knew what Gerry was doing."

But Mr Clarke insisted that the DJ was the "ultimate professional", adding: "I am quite shocked at the things being said and quite frankly I don't believe a lot of them.

"I was a very good colleague of Gerry's. I would have seen the highs and lows if he had a problem like that and I never did."