Top Irish RT broadcaster Gerry Ryan has been found dead at his apartment at Leeson Street in Ballsbridge, Dublin, after failing to turn up for his radio show this morning.
Ryan, who was 53, presented his Gerry Ryan Show on Irish radio for more than 20 years and was one of the most recognised faces on Irish television. He also co-presented the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.
State broadcaster RTE, for whom Ryan worked, said police were investigating the circumstances of his death.
The 53-year-old was reportedly found in his bedroom by Gardai who were called after a friend could not gain access to the apartment. Gardai are investigating, though foul play is not suspected.
Mr. Ryan is survived by his wife, Morah, and five children.
Since 1988 Ryan, a Dublin pioneer of pirate radio, had hosted a morning chat-and-music show on national broadcasters RTE. He also fronted numerous RTE television talk shows and celebrity interviews and was known for his irreverent, coarse humor.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen, T.D., today said he was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Cowen continued: “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 was one of the greats of modern Irish broadcasting on radio and television. The Gerry Ryan Radio Show was compulsive listening for hundreds of thousands of people.
“As a broadcaster, Gerry Ryan was both informed and intelligent, forthright and articulate. As a man, he was generous, famously irreverent and witty. I had had the pleasure of meeting him many times, both in front of and away from the microphone. He was always engaging company and a man of considerable charm.
“He will be hugely missed by all those who had the good fortune to know him. I want to extend my sympathies to Gerry’s family and friends at this difficult time”, the Taoiseach stated.
Green Party Leader John Gormley added: “Gerry Ryan, will be greatly missed, as a broadcaster and as a familiar voice, connecting with thousands of listeners every morning.”
Fine Gael Leader Enday Kenny commented: “I would like to express my deep shock and regret at the tragic and unexpected news of the death of Gerry Ryan. I extend my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in 2fm at this most difficult time.
“I would like to recognise the enormous contribution Gerry Ryan has made to broadcasting in Ireland and to the development of Irish society as a whole over the last 25 years. Gerry brought a great spirit to his coverage on radio and television and engendered huge loyalty in the legion of fans dedicated to him.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam”, concluded Mr. Kenny.