Tributes paid to Gerry Ryan after his sudden death

Tributes are being paid to broadcaster Gerry Ryan after his body was discovered today in his Dublin apartment.

Tributes are being paid to broadcaster Gerry Ryan after his body was discovered today in his Dublin apartment.

The 53-year-old father-of-five from Clontarf in Dublin had been broadcasting on 2fm for more than two decades.

He failed to show up for his radio show this morning. A friend who could not gain access to his Leeson Street apartment alerted gardaí.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has described Ryan as a "broadcaster of immense talent and popularity, whose legion of fans will all be greatly shocked".

Environment Minister John Gormley and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny also issued statements paying tribute to the broadcaster.

Broadcasting colleagues have remembered Ryan as a "bright spark" (Shay Healy) and a "great broadcaster" (Larry Gogan).

Radio One broadcaster Derek Mooney made a brief statement during his afternoon programme passing on condolences from colleagues to Ryan's family and friends.

Ryan announced a separation from his wife Morah in March 2008 after 26 years of marriage. The couple had five children together.

After a stint in pirate radio, the often controversial and outspoken DJ joined RTE in 1979.

The Gerry Ryan Show began in 1988 and quickly became one of Ireland’s most popular radio programmes.

Ryan has also hosted several television series including Secrets, Ryantown, Gerry Ryan Tonight, Gerry Ryan’s Hitlist and Ryan Confidential.

In 1994 Ryan co-presented the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest with former newsreader Cynthia Ni Mhurchu.

The Taoiseach said he was deeply saddened to learn of Ryan’s death.

“Gerry was a household name and a broadcaster of immense talent and popularity,” he said. “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.”

Mr Cowen said the popular Gerry Ryan Show on 2FM was compulsive listening for hundreds of thousands of people.

“As a broadcaster, Gerry Ryan was both informed and intelligent, forthright and articulate,” he said.

“As a man, he was generous, famously irreverent and witty. I 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.”

Mr Cowen also extended his sympathies to Ryan’s family and friends.

Green Party leader and Environment Minister John Gormley said Ryan will be greatly missed, as a broadcaster, DJ and familiar voice to thousands of listeners every morning.

“His ability as a broadcaster to take both the serious and light-hearted stories was second to none,” he said.

“His good humour concealed a keen intellect and a commitment to straight journalism – he was a fair and accurate commentator. His death is a tragic loss for the viewers and listeners of Ireland.”

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