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Family's loving tributes on gerry's anniversary

GERRY Ryan's family have marked the first anniversary of his death with a touching floral tribute.

The late broadcaster's family placed a number of messages on the broadcaster's grave, ahead of a Mass today, on the first anniversary of this death.

A wreath of orchids placed on the grass of the family plot at Dardistown Cemetery in Dublin was signed by his children.

In a message, youngest child Babette (11) wrote: "Hey Dad, miss you lots like jelly tots, thinking about you everyday, Babs."

Another, from Bonnie, added: "To Chief, all my love, B XX."

Other messages from Gerry's children included: "Dad! Miss you, love you, I'm keeping the faith!" and: "Miss you more and more every day -- but love you more as well!"

The tributes were placed ahead of a mass for the broadcaster in Clontarf today.

The broadcaster's former wife Morah Ryan invited a select gathering of relatives and pals to join her and their five children as they recall their fondest memories of the controversial RTE personality, who passed away one year ago today.



joyful

And as revealed to the Herald, his eldest daughter Lottie Ryan is determined that the occasion will be a joyful one as they privately mark the milestone anniversary.

"Obviously it is going to be very difficult but we are going to be celebrating my father's life. We're not doing the funeral again. It's a celebration of who he was and how amazing he was and what a great dad he was. That's where our heads will be," she said.

She admitted that it is hard to believe that he's been gone for a year -- but added that his death taught her how important it was to "live in the moment".

The Daily Show showbiz reporter added how it has been hard to absorb all the acres of newsprint that has been written about the 2fm star.

"You have to learn to take things with a pinch of salt and just turn the cheek. We don't pay attention to anything -- we live in a wonderful bubble of ignorance and it's fabulous."

Morah and children Lottie, Rex, Bonnie, Babette and Elliott attended a mass in Ryan's memory at St John the Baptist church in Clontarf, which was the same place for his funeral service, followed by a function at their family home on nearby Castle Avenue.

However, his partner of two years Melanie Verwoerd was not at the service after confirming that she intended to mark the one-year anniversary in her own way.

She was the person who discovered the body of the dead DJ at his Leeson Street flat on April 30, 2010 with the resulting inquest ruling that he died of a cardiac arrest and had traces of cocaine in his system when he died.



bottles

Many of his RTE colleagues were expected to attend the mass today, including Dave Fanning, Joe Duffy, Ryan Tubridy, Evelyn O'Rourke, as well as his long-term friend Harry Crosbie with wife Rita, as well as Caroline Downey Desmond.

"They're going to play all his favourite songs in the house and have a few bottles of his favourite whiskey for guests," said an insider. "They don't want it to be a sad occasion -- they want people to look back fondly on his memory.

"So many negative things have been written about him over the past 12 months, it's been so hard for his family. This is their day to remember him exactly as they see fit."

mfinn@herald.ie


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