The Late Jim Ryan (Agent), Killeenyarda, Holycross
The passing of former Tipperary hurler Jim Ryan Agent, who was called to his eternal rewards at home on September 8th, occasioned great sadness in his native parish and further afield.
Born in Killeenyarda, Holycross in 1928, Jim was educated at the local school and in C.B.S. Thurles. Jim’s love for hurling began in his schooldays in Holycross. Amongst many other honours, he won two County Championship Medals with Holycross in 1948 and 1951. He was very proud to play for Tipperary and won two National League Hurling Titles. A serious injury, sustained on the playing field, prematurely ended his playing career. He had a lifelong interest in the game and followed the fortunes of Holycross Ballycahill and Tipperary all down the years. As Jim’s funeral cortege approached his final resting place in Holycross he was greeted by a GAA Guard of Honour - he was the last surviving member of the 1948 team and his exploits on the field of play were recalled with great warmth and affection these past few days.
Other interests for Jim included history, music, poetry and ceili dancing. He could recite long epic poems from memory into his 80’s and these were his party pieces.
Jim had a charismatic and genial personality that won him friends wherever he went. He had a keen interest in people and his generosity was legendary. Young and old alike gravitated to him.
Jim married Margaret McGrath in 1959 and they moved to St. Albans in England. There he set up a highly successful business. He was a talented craftsman who was much in demand and examples of his work can be seen all over North London and Herts.
During his working life he kept close contact with friends and team mates in Holycross where he returned regularly. After a long and productive working life he retired aged 78 to the bungalow that they had acquired in Blackwater, Co. Wexford. Here they quickly became part of the local community. He had his own seat in the local hotel where he often informed the staff that the secret of a long and healthy life was “more of the black stuff”. He had a point- he was aged 90 when he died.
After the passing of Margaret, his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, he returned to St. Albans where he lived out his final years contentedly, being cared for by his family.
Jim is survived by his daughters Mary and Patricia, his son John and his grandchildren Sam, Tom, Jimmy, Chris, Oliver and Clara, his brothers Joe and Tom, and his sisters Sr. Carmel, Nora and Peg. He was laid to rest in his beloved Holycross, where generations of his family are buried, after Requiem Mass in Holycross Abbey on Thursday last.
His funeral Mass was a real celebration of his long life and the historical Abbey which had just completed the annual Novena a few days earlier, was as splendid as it had been for all the sessions. Relatives, friends, neighbours and former team mates came to pay their respects to a man who was highly respected.
Ní bheidh a leithéid ann aris.