The former wife of broadcaster Gerry Ryan paid tribute yesterday to his other family — the dedicated listeners who tuned to his radio show every day.
Morah Ryan — affectionately referred to on air as “Mrs Ryan” during her husband's 30-year career at RTE's 2FM — said his legion of fans was the reason he got up every morning.
“You were so important to him and over these days it's so beautiful to see how important he was to you,” she said. “We are surrounded by love and we thank you.
“You're the reason he got up every morning. When the little red light went on in studio, he lit up and he was yours.
“I want to thank you and wish I could reach out to each and every one of you who feels and shares our loss.
“I want to thank you for listening on behalf of myself, Charlotte, Rex, Bonnie, Elliot and Babette, thank you for the roof over our heads.”
Standing at the front of St John the Baptist Church where the couple were married, Mrs Ryan said Gerry had lived for their five wonderful children.
“He was always so proud of them but he would be so, so proud of them today. He adored them and he was and is adored by them,” she said.
“Their loss I cannot begin to grasp, but we will be there for them like he always was.”
Mrs Ryan also remembered her former husband's partner Melanie Verwoerd who found Ryan's body in his apartment last Friday.
“I would like to extend mine, Manno's, Michael's and the children's sympathies to Melanie and her children,” she added.
Nearby, on the coffin bearing the 53-year-old's body, was a line from his favourite film, 2001 A Space Odyssey: “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”
“God speed you chief and don't worry, I think Hal has opened the pod bay door,” added Mrs Ryan.