Willie Aherne (right) presents the Hall of Fame Award to Denis Ryan in the presence of the Association's President Liam Myles
The Association's winner of the Hall of Fame for 2017 has never lost touch with Tipperary or Newport and has been an exemplary ambassador for Irish music, culture and business, the gala awards ceremony heard.
Denis Ryan, a native of Newport was selected in recognition of his music and singing performances, as an acknowledgement of his business undertakings and for his work for charity.
The Canadian Ambassador, His Excellency Kevin Vickers was present to see Mr. Ryan inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Following his primary and secondary education, Denis worked in Ireland for a few years before emigrating to Toronto, Canada in 1969.
He formed the Irish-Canadian folk group Ryan’s Fancy in 1970 and moved to St. John’s Newfoundland in 1971 to attend Memorial University where he graduated with a degree in Folklore. He and his family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1980 and have been residing there ever since.
Denis has performed all over the world, appearing in over two hundred television shows in Ireland, USA, and Canada, including 78 TV shows with the Ryan’s Fancy Tommy Makem syndicated series.
As a singer, he has performed for former Prime Ministers of Canada Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney, US President Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth and many others.
Since Ryan’s Fancy disbanded Denis has been working in the Investment Management business. He is involved with numerous community projects including serving as the national chairman of the fundraising committee of the Darcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University, and was also on the Board of Governors for St. Francis Xavier University.
In 1994 he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Letters from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He founded Nova Scotian Crystal, Canada’s only hand cut mouth-blown crystal manufacturer in 1996.
In 2011 Denis Ryan donated a digital copy of his personal audio-visual archive to the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick through the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.
Denis Ryan had been 25 years ahead of today’s micro-brewery trend when he launched the Highland Classic Brewery in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where he and a colleague brewed classic beer.
In 2017 he was appointed Director of the Liquor Stores North America. It is North America's largest publicly traded liquor retailer.
“Denis Ryan has received many deserved honours during his career, including Doctor of letters from St Mary’s University Halifax Nova Scotia, for his life’s work in music literature and folklore. His fundraising and charitable work is well known particularly his Gig for Ghana which took place in Limerick last year”, the Awards ceremony heard.
The citation read “for the honour he has brought to himself, his hometown and the county of Tipperary, the Tipperary Association Dublin is delighted to induct Denis Ryan into the Hall of Fame and to present him with the Hall of Fame Award for 2017”.
In response, Mr. Ryan said there was nothing like being honoured by ones own community.
He fondly recalled growing up in Newport. Expressing his thanks he said it was a great honour and one he would always treasure.