Gerry Ryan funeral set for Thursday

The funeral of RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan will take place on Thursday.

The funeral of Irish broadcaster Gerry Ryan will take place on Thursday, it was confirmed today.

The 53-year-old’s body will be brought to the family home this evening, then remain with his five devastated children and estranged wife Morah ahead of his burial in north Dublin.

Family spokeswoman Joanne Byrne said there was nothing to indicate the results of a post mortem examination, delayed until today because of the Bank Holiday weekend, will be released.

She revealed Ryan’s loved ones were now concentrating on giving him the send off he deserves.

“We are trying to acknowledge what he meant to everybody, but first and foremost he was a dad,” said Ms Byrne.

“We are trying to keep it to as close as we can to family and friends, but we understand it won’t be completely private.”

Ms Byrne confirmed the remains of the RTÉ television and radio presenter will be brought to his family home in Clontarf later today.

The house is private for Morah, their children and close family until 3pm tomorrow when there will be a private wake, she said.

The popular presenter’s body will be taken from the family home on Thursday for his funeral mass at 11.30am at St John The Baptist in Clontarf.

Ryan – who split from his wife after 26 years of marriage in March 2008 – was found dead on the floor of his bedroom on his Dublin flat last Friday afternoon by his partner, Melanie Verwoerd.

It is suspected he died from a heart attack and gardaí are not treating his death as suspicious.

Thousands of shocked fans have signed books of condolence at the capital’s RTÉ Radio studios and at the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello.

The Ryans have requested family flowers only at his funeral.

“Gerry’s family have suggested that in lieu of flowers, Gerry’s many friends and fans make a donation to their own personal charity of choice,” she added.

Ms Byrne said the Ryan family were trying to make the funeral an occasion that would reflect who and what who the DJ was.

She said while they were still in shock and disbelief by his sudden death, they were aware of the queues of people signing books of condolences and of the 50,000 fans who joined a Facebook page in his honour.

“They are very conscious that although their grief is so private and they have lost their dad, that they are sharing their loss with so many other people which actually does give them comfort,” she added.

RTÉ also confirmed Ryan’s funeral will be broadcast live on his station, 2fm, because of the enormous response from fans since his death.

A webcam will also stream coverage online.

John McMahon, head of 2fm, said he felt Ryan’s listeners would want to be part of the funeral service.

“From our point of view radio was Gerry’s life and we want to pay tribute to that so we will be broadcasting the sounds of the mass through 2fm,” added Mr McMahon.

Ryan was given his popular eponymous chat show on 2fm in 1988 and went on to become a household name, attracting a daily audience of more than 300,000 listeners.

Over the years, he also hosted several television series including 'Secrets', 'Ryantown', 'Gerry Ryan Tonight', 'Gerry Ryan’s Hitlist', 'Ryan Confidential' and 'Operation Transformation'.

A second three-hour tribute show was aired today featuring calls from listeners, contributors in the studio and clips of Ryan over the years.

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