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UPDATE: Gerry Ryan R.I.P.

The RTÉ broadcaster has died.

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 30 Apr 2010

Hot Press is shocked to learn of the death of broadcaster Gerry Ryan.

The 53-year-old was found dead in his Ballsbridge apartment this morning after failing to turn up for his daily 2fm radio show. While the cause is not yet known, the Gardai have ruled out foul play.

Among the first to react to the news was his RTÉ colleague Miriam O’Callaghan who tweeted: “Tragically it is true. So terribly shocking and sad. Life is just too cruel sometimes. RIP.”

A household name for over 30 years, Gerry had just started a new series of his Thursday night Ryan Confidential interview series on RTɠOne.

"My heart goes out to his family, to his closest friends, to all the people who loved Gerry," says Hot Press editor Niall Stokes. "And of course to everyone at 2fm � it is really devastating when something like this happens so suddenly and without warning. Everyone at the station is in deep shock and understandably so. The thought that Gerry Ryan will never grace the airwaves again, the thought that he has been taken away from us so prematurely, is impossible to come to terms with. But of course we will have to. That's how it is when life's cruellest caprices afflict us.

"Gerry was a huge character. He was warm, generous and gregarious. He was great company and very funny, witty and charming. He brought all of those qualities to his broadcasting, which is why he became such a crucial figure for RTE, and why he attracted such a big, loyal and committed audience to his radio show, every day, week in week out, over so many years. Women especially loved him.

"He made an enormous contribution to Irish broadcasting. It's easy to forget how hidebound and conventional Irish radio was when Gerry and Dave Fanning and the rest of those guys hit the airwaves on 2fm, at the end of the 1970s. Gerry in particular was fantastically iconoclastic and irreverent, constantly intent on pushing the boundaries. He demolished so many of the inhibitions that had limited people, in terms of what they could say, or the kind of items they could do, on Irish radio. And he carried it off brilliantly because of his sense of fun and the mischievousness with which he went about things.

"Gerry was one of a kind. A natural performer and a superb entertainer, he was right up there among the most important and influential people on Irish radio. There is no way that you can ever think about replacing someone of that unique standing. It goes without saying that he will be sorely missed by anyone and everyone who came within the radius of his extraordinary talent.

"In changing the game so thoroughly in radio, he contributed hugely to the wider process of change in Irish society generally. In that regard, we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. The man may no longer be with us, but his legacy will live on."

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