Speaking alongside Brian Cody at a UCD talk on Monday night, the nine-time All-Ireland winning boss spoke of his concerns about the demands put on teenagers and early twentysomethings by their friends.
“Young people are inclined to follow each other too much. I have been in a few situations where I have been appalled at the number of drinks (taken) in a short time.
“Maybe it should be dispersed with a bottle of water now and again or maybe you just say, “Look, I’ve had enough’. There’s the tendency to just go along with it and binge drink when there’s no need.”
In front of students, Ryan relayed his own story of falling for peer pressure during his college days. “Sometimes we meet somebody in a pub or a club who say, ‘Try one of those, you’ll feel great’. I did it myself, don’t get me wrong. I can remember one night in UCC I was feeling lousy, I was kind of nodding (asleep) and there was a girl (who said), ‘Eamonn, there’s something here that will keep you awake’. She gave me a tablet. I was flying at 7am in the morning! We need to be careful.”
Admitting he suffered from a lack of self-confidence as a young man and continues to do so to a certain extent, Ryan is concerned about what young people, particularly women, are being told to do in society.
“Maybe if we put more emphasis on exercise and eating well it will help to counter this celeb culture foisted upon us by vested interests. This ordains that we must all look stunning, that we all have a perfect body and that we all be at the height of fashion.
“I think girls are more under the thumb with regards to this celeb culture. It’s who you are, it’s what you are, not how you look.”