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Ryan family's fury in battle of the sea wall

GERRY Ryan's family have been drawn into a row with Dublin City Council over the Clontarf flood defence project.

Vincent Ryan, the late 2fm DJ's brother, slammed as "outrageous" comments made by the local authority about their mother Maureen.

Vincent, known as Mano, said his mother, who died in December 2006, would be "very upset" if she knew her name was being used in relation to the controversial project.

He was referring to remarks by council executive manager Tom Leahy who recalled last Monday how he stood in Maureen's home in November 2006 after it was badly flooded.

"She said to me, 'Please come up with some solution to protect us from flooding'," Mr Leahy was quoted as saying.

The official was speaking during a discussion in City Hall about the €9.8m barrier proposal.

While Mano does not dispute that his mother made the comment, he is annoyed at the context in which it was used.


He said: "The family feel -- my brother (Michael) and I -- that it's unfortunate comments are being made evoking our mother's name to try and influence a decision that could destroy an amenity that would have been very dear to her and her husband's heart and would be very important to her grandchildren. We feel it's very, very unfortunate."

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said: "The comments were made during a 30-minute interview and were in no way intended to suggest Mrs Ryan was in favour of the current plan. We regret if any upset was caused to the Ryan family."

Mano is against the council's proposal, which would see a series of mounds and walls rising to 9ft in places being built along the promenade. "You do not need a set of iron bars and concrete on your windows to prevent burglary. There are lots of different ways and sensible and appropriate solutions to lots of life's problems," he said.

He described the plans as "ludicrous" and "ill-thought out", insisting there hadn't been proper consultation with the public.

"Certainly, I never saw it (the plan) and the vast majority of people in Clontarf didn't see it and the 5,000 people in Clontarf who showed up on the day (of the protest) haven't seen it," Mano said.

"Maybe the people down in Marino Library where they put up their notice saw it, but no one else saw it. It's clearly ridiculous."

Asked what his mother's reaction would have been to Mr Leahy's comments, Mano said: "I think she would be very upset, knowing her.

"A very important part of her life was walking up and down the promenade with my late father.

"They use to walk up and down, hand in hand, everyone in the area would have known them. It was an essential part of their day.

"They started bringing their grandchildren up and down as well and now her name is being evoked in a way that is going to potentially destroy that possibility for her children and her grandchildren. It's outrageous."

He added: "It [the promenade] is absolutely an essential part of Clontarf life, certainly for us it is."