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Letters to Gerry from loved ones 'found in skip'

PERSONAL correspondence belonging to Gerry Ryan was found in a skip, it was claimed today.

Cards written by his children to the RTE star, as well as correspondence from his new partner were found dumped, it was reported.

The personal effects were published by a tabloid newspaper today after it claimed that it had been handed the momentos by a "member of the public".

Gerry's partner Melanie Verwoerd was too upset to comment about the findings when contacted by the Herald today.

Among the items was a birthday card from Ms Verwoerd for his 53rd birthday. She wrote in the card: "I wish for you time for yourself and time to be nurtured."

Also among the effects was a handmade Father's Day card from his children.

The revelation made in today's Irish Daily Mirror come the day after Gerry's Month's Mind, which was attended by his heartbroken children and Ms Verwoerd.

PERSONAL

Melanie Verwoerd also wrote in the extremely personal letter about her hopes for Gerry for the remainder of 2010.

RTE will air a documentary chronicling the life and career of Gerry Ryan before the end of the year, the Herald can reveal.

Meanwhile, the State broadcaster confirmed that a feature-length tribute to the late broadcaster was in the works, but remained coy about the progress of the show.

A spokesperson said they could not comment on the "constituents" of a documentary during its production phase and explained that they would not be in a position to provide more details until closer to the time it aired.

Its website says: "RTE Television are currently planning a documentary to commemorate the huge contribution made by Gerry Ryan to Irish broadcasting in particular and to the Irish viewing public in general.

"The documentary will feature colleagues, commentators and friends in an assessment and exploration of Gerry's inimitable broadcasting style, skill and prowess."

The spokesperson added that there were no plans to air the programme until after the summer months at least, but it is expected to hit our screens before the end of the year.

"We currently have two memorial programmes in preparation, one for TV and another documentary for 2FM," the spokesperson said.

"Both will be broadcast later in the year but no dates have yet been decided."

The hugely popular star died suddenly on April 30 at the age of 53 and hundreds of thousands of fans have expressed their grief. In the run-up to the release of two documentaries, the network has since aired a Ryan Confidential episode featuring his colleague and close pal Ryan Tubridy, as well as posting a permanent online tribute section for the late star.

STREAMED

Yesterday, the star's grief-stricken family congregated at St John the Baptist Church in Clontarf to mark a month since his tragic death.

Unlike his funeral Mass, which was streamed live online and aired on radio, his memorial was kept a strictly private family occasion. Dressed in black, the broadcaster's estranged wife Morah (50) was embraced by her late husband's brother, Mike.

Also in attendance at the Mass were Gerry's five children, Lottie (24), Rex (20), Bonnie (17), Elliot (14) and 10-year-old Babette.

It is understood the Month's Mind was for immediate family and close friends only at the family's request.

Gerry's partner for the past 18 months of his life, Melanie, did not attend.

The Unicef boss is said to have visited the grave of the man she described as her "love" at Dardistown Cemetery over the weekend.

cbyrne@ herald.ie


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