Radio star likely to be laid to rest before weekend

GERRY RYAN is likely to be laid to rest on Thursday and possibly in a private ceremony, a spokesman for his family said yesterday.

The late broadcaster’s wife, Morah, from whom he was separated, and his five children, were yesterday trying to put together arrangements for Mr Ryan’s funeral, which is likely to take place at St John the Baptist Church in his native Clontarf.

That is where the 2fm presenter married Morah and where his mother’s funeral service was held three years ago. Family spokeswoman Joanne Byrne said: “It is obviously a church that has significance for the family.”

In addition to the signatories of the various books of condolence at RTÉ and yesterday at Dublin’s Mansion House, around 100,000 people have joined various Facebook tribute pages, the largest of which has close to 45,000 members, many of whom have left comments.

Ms Byrne said the family was now looking at what was “feasible” for the funeral service, bearing in mind that members of the public may wish to attend and that “Gerry knew everyone”.

“Ultimately they want to try and keep it private, as much as they can,” she said. When asked if Mr Ryan’s partner, Melanie Verwoerd, was involved in organising the funeral, she said: “My understanding is that the family are taking care of the arrangements.”

A post mortem will be carried out on Mr Ryan’s body today, but his wife, Morah, and family are said to be convinced a massive heart attack was the cause of death.

It is understood he had been dead for several hours when his body was discovered at his Upper Leeson St apartment at lunchtime on Friday.

Fr Cormac McIlraith, parish priest at St John the Baptist Church, had already said that funeral arrangements could not be finalised until after the post mortem and the body is released back to the Ryan family. A removal service could take place tomorrow.

Morah and her five children had lunch in the Four Seasons on Sunday to mark the fact that they met with the TV and radio presenter there on a weekly basis since he moved out of the family home in Clontarf two years ago.

It is understood Ms Verwoerd also invited friends of the late broadcaster to her Dublin home on Sunday to remember the popular presenter.

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