Cllr Virginia O’Dowd and former TD Maire Hoctor pay tribute to John Ryan

Cllr Virginia O'Dowd

Cllr Virginia O'Dowd

Tributes have been paid to former Nenagh town councillor, county councillor, Tipperary North TD and senator John Ryan, who died last week.

Mr Ryan, who was 86, was chair of Nenagh UDC on six occasions from 1961, and first took a seat in Dáil Eireann at the 1973 general election. He was re-elected at each subsequent election until he lost the seat in 1987. He was elected to the Seanad in 1989 and three years later regained his Dáil seat. He retired after the 1997 general election.

Leading the tributes from his former colleagues was Maire Hoctor, who served on the town council with him for seven years.

“John was a proud Nenagh man with the interest of his constituents at heart. He was diligent in his service to the people who elected him giving great attention to detail in every case presented to him,” she said.

The former Fianna Fail Junior Minister, county councillor and town councillor said that serving with Mr Ryan on Nenagh Urban Council, he put aside political differences for the betterment of the town he loved.

“His qualities as a gentleman shone through at all times and it was a pleasure to work with him and to have served with him.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dhilis,” said Ms Hoctor.

Also paying tribute was sitting Labour councillor Virginia O’Dowd, who said that during his time as a councillor and TD, Mr Ryan played an active part in the political and community life of Nenagh and North Tipperary.

“He was a man of the people and communicated well with everybody he worked for,” she said.

“John was genuinely very upset that he couldn’t make the 150th anniversary of the opening of Nenagh railway station last October. He was looking forward to meeting his old friends and colleagues. He sent a handwritten apology to the celebrations and asked that it be read out. John was a station clerk and always showed an interest in maintaining and developing the line,” said Cllr O’Dowd, a founder member of Nenagh Community Rail partnership..

“During my time on the council John would quietly offer help and advice to me. While he had left public office, he had kept a keen interest in public affairs and liked to see how the town council was progressing.

“As well as representing the town, John also worked on behalf of the voters of North Tipperary, and it was an honour for him to have been elected as leas-Cheann Chomhairle of the Dail.

“I offer my sympathies to his wife, Ina, son Gerry and daughters, Paula and Diane. on this sad occasion. May he rest in peace,” she said.


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