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Ireland shocked at loss of Gerry Ryan

Last update - Thursday, May 6, 2010, 13:51 By Metro Éireann

The death of Gerry Ryan, one of Ireland’s top broadcasters, has shocked the nation. The RTÉ 2fm host was found at his home last Friday by his partner, former South African Ambassador to Ireland Melanie Verwoerd, who called to the apartment when Ryan failed to turn up for work.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Gerry Ryan,” said Taoiseach Brian Cowen. “Gerry was a household name and a broadcaster of immense talent and popularity. His legion of fans will all be greatly shocked to hear this sad news.”
He described the late broadcaster as “one of the greats of modern Irish broadcasting on radio and television... As a broadcaster, Gerry Ryan was both informed and intelligent, forthright and articulate.”
The Taoiseach expressed his deepest sympathies to Ryan’s family and friends.
Gerry Ryan was born in Dublin in 1956 and grew up in Clontarf. He studied law at Trinity College Dublin and went to work as an apprentice solicitor, but soon found his way into the emerging world of pirate radio.
In 1979 he joined RTÉ’s just-launched Radio 2 (now 2fm) where he shared a late night slot with Mark Cagney and Dave Fanning. His talent for talk radio led to a move to the mid-morning slot in 1987, where he established himself as a household name and Ireland’s premier ‘shock jock’ for more than 20 years.
His programme The Gerry Ryan Show attracted over 300,000 listeners and was part of everyday life for many people in Ireland.
Ryan was also one of Ireland’s top broadcasters on primetime television. He hosted his own late-night chat show Ryan Confidential, where he spoke one-on-one with some of the world’s most famous people in sport, politics and entertainment. Ryan also recently presented the popular Operation Transformation.
RTÉ chairperson Tom Savage commented: “When someone comes to write the history of RTÉ and of broadcasting at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, they will have to devote a special analytical section to the phenomenon that was Gerry Ryan because he was, in fact, a phenomenon and an icon in the evolution of Irish broadcasting.”
Gerry Ryan is survived by wife Morah, from whom he was separated, his five children  and partner Melanie.

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