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The late William ‘Billy’ Ryan (63) employed hundreds in New Ross over the years


The late Billy Ryan.

The late Billy Ryan.

The late Billy Ryan.


The son of New Ross businessman William (Billy) Ryan – who died aged 63 on Sunday, June 5 – has described him as a larger than life person who cared deeply for his family, staff and community.

Late of Newbridge House, Campile, Billy passed away following an illness which he bore with courage.

Born in Cork, Billy grew up in the New Ross area, his father Ned being a Wexford man. Billy met Bridget, from Horeswood, through her brother Larry and they were married a few years later in 1981.

Billy trained as a carpenter, before setting out on his own as a building contractor, working mainly in the south east and in Dublin.

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Over the 80s and 90s he employed hundreds of people between his building contractor and Leinster Joinery in Marshmeadows. Billy loved masterplanning projects from working for First National Bank to commercial and domestic ventures – and was a people person who loved to give someone a chance and see them progress in their career.

He finished up with the building when the financial crisis hit, investing in a property he loved in New Ross opposite the quay, where President John F Kennedy addressed the people of the town in 1953.

He developed the John V site into Town & Country Mercantile.

“He was very proud of the place and my mother, sister and all the staff; everyone did a shift there.”

Weathering recessions, a bad fire and many other challenges, Billy kept faith in the business which has grown over the years. In his spare time he loved listening to jazz music, current affairs and was a Fianna Fáil supporter, but his whole world was Bridget, his children and their families. “Billy’s world revolved around his family. He was also involved in various different hobbies and organisations.”

He was involved at board level on numerous projects including the Dunbrody Famine Ship, New Ross Community Hospital, the Ros Tapestry and New Ross Rewards. “He loved Campile and New Ross and loved to see new shops open up to see a bit more vibrancy in the town.”

Billy enjoyed good health for most of his life, up until this spring. he attended Blackrock Clinic prior to returning home recently to spend his final days surrounded by his loving family. David said Bridget and his father were inseparable and what they had was rare. He thanked all of his family for their support over recent weeks and everyone for their warm wishes.

Campile Area Development Group posted a message on social media, recalling a kind and generous man who always had a word for everyone. "He worked hard all his life however family was always his number one. His smile will be missed in our parish.”

New Ross Rewards also paid a warm tribute to founder Billy. 

Billy is survived by Bridget, his daughter Gemma and David, siblings, Ronnie, Margaret, Eddie and Laura; grandchildren Timothy, Isla, Croía and Elin; son-in-law M.J.; daughter-in-law Jackie; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nephews; nieces; extended family and friends.